An orthopaedic surgeon aims to diagnose, treat, prevent and rehabilitate conditions related to the musculoskeletal system. These include: joints, ligaments, tendons, bones, muscles and nerves. Orthopaedic surgery is a sub-specialty form of surgery and while orthopaedic surgeons have an understanding of all aspects of the musculoskeletal system, many focus on one particular element, such as knee, hip, shoulder or spine. Orthopaedic surgeons may also choose to specialise in specific fields like oncology, sports medicine or paediatrics.
You may wish to consult an Orthopaedic surgeon if you are experiencing a reduction in the function of any joints, such as knee, shoulder or hip, or if you are experiencing consistent pain in these areas. In severe cases, injuries to ligaments, tendons and bones may require emergency referral. Bone and joint infection may also merit similarly urgent admission and treatment. Examples of common procedures and interventions conducted by Orthopaedic surgeons include: joint arthroscopy, bone fracture repair, arthroplasty, corrective surgery and general repairs on damaged muscles or tendons. When treating musculoskeletal conditions, Orthopaedics surgeons may opt to use medications, exercise and other rehabilitative therapies without the need for surgery. Some common conditions treated by Orthopaedic surgeons are hip and knee osteoarthritis and ligamentous injuries.