Orthopedic surgery is the surgical specialty concerned with musculoskeletal system disorders, especially the extremities. These include injuries and diseases of the bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, nerves, blood vessels, or skin, to name a few. Orthopedic surgeons are trained in both surgical and nonsurgical management of their patients. These can include physical or occupational therapy, bracing, casting, splinting, or traction to make a correct diagnosis and get the patient back on their feet as soon as possible. This article looks at some common problems Dr. Kristopher L. Downing, an orthopedic surgeon based in La Jolla, CA, can help treat. Read more below.
- Shoulder Injuries
Injuries to the shoulder can be a significant problem for athletes. The most common injuries are rotator cuff tendonitis and dislocation of the shoulder joint. An orthopedic surgeon will prescribe physical or occupational therapy and anti-inflammatory medications to help heal the injury and get you back on your feet as soon as possible. If a shoulder replacement is necessary, they will replace the shoulder joint with metal and synthetic components designed to mimic the original movement of your shoulder.
- Elbow Injuries
These can include fractures, tendonitis, or even tennis elbow. An orthopedic surgeon might recommend you to undergo occupational therapy to help heal your injury faster without compromising your daily activities. If the damage is more severe, Dr. Downing might suggest surgery to repair a tendon or ligament to help you heal quicker and get back on track with your day-to-day activities.
- Hand Injuries
Injuries to the hands can include injuries to the fingers, carpal tunnel syndrome, or a broken hand or wrist. Your orthopedic surgeon might prescribe antibiotics and pain relievers to help you heal faster. In case of a severe injury, he might suggest surgery to get you back on track with your daily activities as soon as possible. Surgery could include the installation of pins or screws in your fingers or wrist bones to help you heal faster and recover from the injury.
- Hip Injuries
Hip pain is usually a result of arthritis or a fracture in your hip bones. An orthopedic surgeon might recommend physical therapy through activity modification to reduce strain on your hips, anti-inflammatory medications, and rest to treat the problem. If the injury is more severe, your orthopedic surgeon might suggest surgery to repair your fractured hip bones. A hip replacement might also be necessary if you have bone loss due to excessive osteoporosis.
- Knee Injuries
Knee injuries can result from obesity, ligament tears, or sprains resulting from athletic injuries. Orthopedic surgeons usually recommend physical or occupational therapy to help you heal faster. If the injury is more severe, surgery might be necessary to repair torn ligaments. This can include grommets for ACL tears, replacement of torn cartilage, or even total knee replacements.
In summary, orthopedic surgery is a surgical specialty that helps treat musculoskeletal system disorders. These include injuries and diseases of your bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, or skin, to name a few. Orthopedic surgeons are trained in both surgical and nonsurgical management of their patients.