Orthopedic doctors are specially trained to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. Some common conditions that these doctors treat include:
- Arthritis: a condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints.
- Bone fractures: broken bones that can occur as a result of a fall, sports injury, or other trauma.
- Osteoporosis: a condition that causes weakness and brittleness in the human bones.
- Tendinitis: an inflammation of the tendons, which connect muscles to bones.
- Ligament sprains: stretching or tearing of the ligaments, which connect bones to one another.
- Back and neck pain: caused by a variety of conditions, such as spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and scoliosis.
To treat these conditions, orthopedic specialists may use a variety of methods, including:
- Medication, such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs, to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Physical therapy exercises and other therapies that can help to increase strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
- Surgery to repair or replace damaged bones, joints, or other structures. Common orthopedic surgeries include knee and hip replacements, spinal fusion, and shoulder repairs.
- Lifestyle advice, such as diet, exercise, and activity modification, to promote overall musculoskeletal health and reduce the risk of injury.
Orthopedic doctors can also help to prevent injuries by providing guidance on proper exercise and sports techniques, as well as advice on safe lifting and other activities that can be hard on the musculoskeletal system. They may also provide education on how to prevent falls, particularly in older adults.