Sometimes, treatment involves injections of medicine into the painful area. This may involve:
Corticosteroid injections into joints, tendons, and ligaments, and around the spine
Hyaluronic acid injection to help relieve arthritis pain
Surgical procedures used in the treatment of orthopedics include:
Bunionectomy and hammer toe repair
Cartilage repair or resurfacing procedures
Cartilage surgery to knee
Joint replacement (arthroplasty)
Repair of torn ligaments and tendons
Spine surgery, including diskectomy, foraminotomy, laminectomy, and spinal fusion
Newer orthopedic services procedures include minimally invasive surgery techniques, advanced external fixation, and the use of bone graft substitutes and bone-fusing protein.
WHO IS INVOLVED
Orthopedic care often involves a team approach. Your team may include a doctor, as well as a non-doctor specialist such as a physical therapist, as well as others.
Orthopedic surgeons receive 5 or more extra years of training in the care of disorders of the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They are trained to manage joint problems with both operative and non-operative techniques.
Physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors have 4 or more extra years of training in this type of care after they graduate from medical school. They are also referred to as physiatrists. They do not perform surgery, although they can give joint injections.
Sports medicine physicians are doctors with experience in sports medicine who have a primary specialty in family practice, internal medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics, or physical medicine and rehabilitation. Most have 1-2 years of additional training in sports medicine through subspecialty programs in sports medicine. Sports medicine is a special branch of orthopedics designed to provide complete medical care to active people of all ages.
Other doctors that may be a part of the orthopedics team include:
Primary care doctors
Non-doctor health professionals that may be a part of the orthopedics team include:
Silverstein JA, Moeller JL, Hutchinson MR. Common issues in orthopedics. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 30.
Musculoskeletal disorders. In:Frontera, WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2008:chap 1-88.
C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.