Orthopedic Surgeon & Orthopedist Near Me
What Is Orthopedics Meaning?
An orthopedist is a doctor who specializes in bones, joints, and muscles. Orthopedic surgeons use both surgical and nonsurgical methods to manage patients. This specialist receives training in general orthopedics for five years after completing four years of medical school. For special interests such as trauma or sports medicine, an additional year of training is required.
An Orthopedic surgeon treats bone and joint injuries, including fractures. Find top rated no fault Orthopedic doctors Near you and all over Bronx, New York
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After medical licensure, most orthopedic doctors choose to become board certified, a certification that can be maintained throughout their years of practice. The requirements to become and remain board-certified are rigorous and ongoing. While some orthopedists spend most of their time in the operating room, others focus their practice on non-surgical treatments.
When Do You Need To See An Orthopedist?
Orthopedists evaluate and treat medical issues that affect the musculoskeletal system. Flexible bands of connective tissue, called tendons, attach muscles to the bones. Ligaments, which have less flexibility, hold the bones of joints together (i.e. knee, elbow). Intervertebral discs separate and cushion the bones of the spine. When any of these skeletal components are injured, an orthopedist is a doctor you may want to see.
Following an accident, orthopedic injuries must be acutely treated by a specialist, and rehabilitation may be necessary to regain normal function. Accidents such as a toddler’s femur fracture while in a walker, an athlete’s anterior cruciate ligament tear during a soccer tournament, or a passenger’s whiplash from a motor vehicle accident all benefit from the care of an orthopedist.
Stabilization of the affected area prevents further damage to the bones, ligaments, and tendons and protects nearby blood vessels and nerves. Pain control, an integral part of the healing process, is often managed by an orthopedist. The orthopedist coordinates the rehabilitation team which may include neurologists, pain management specialists, acupuncturists, and physical or occupational therapists.
Common Accident-Related Conditions Treated By Orthopedists
An orthopedic surgeon commonly treats the following types of accident-related conditions:
- Dislocations. These are caused by a bone slipping out of a joint, most commonly at the shoulder, hip, knee, foot, or ankle;
- Fractures. Usually caused by the body’s sudden and forceful impact or twisting, including hand/finger fractures, wrist fractures, and ankle fractures. This type of injury is commonly caused by falls, car accidents, or other traumatic incidents;
- Sprains. Caused when a ligament is torn, overstretched, or twisted, most commonly in the neck, back, knee, ankle, or wrist;
- Strains. Caused when a tendon or muscle is torn, overstretched, or twisted. This most commonly occurs in the back, knee, leg, and foot.
Preparation Before Visiting An Orthopedic Clinic
Before the day of your visit, it is helpful to collect and bring all pertinent medical records to your appointment. This information, along with the medical history that you provide, will help the orthopedist understand the nature of your injuries. You should wear clothing that allows the areas of concern to be fully examined. During the physical examination, the orthopedist will check for swelling, pain, range of motion, strength, and degree of impairment resulting from your injury.
For many injuries, additional information is gained from x-ray imaging. Many orthopedists have x-ray equipment within their office suites. Bone concerns are easily viewed on an x-ray, but muscle, ligament and tendon injuries are not. If the latter is suspected, your doctor will most likely order a magnetic resonance imaging test, or MRI.
An MRI is typically scheduled at an outpatient facility or hospital and may require you to be sedated. It is, therefore, unlikely to occur during your first orthopedic visit unless there is an emergent need. This type of imaging can distinguish a ligament strain from a tear, or herniated disc from a vertebral fracture. Because of the high quality of the images, this diagnostic testing is very helpful in diagnosing medical conditions.
Non-Surgical Orthopedic Treatment
The goals of orthopedics are primarily injury stabilization and pain management. For example, an orthopedist may need to re-align the bones that are displaced due to a fracture. This is followed by placing the arm, for example, within a splint or cast which is worn for several weeks until the bones heal.
For a simple ankle fracture or severe sprain, a device called a cam walker boot may be used to manage the injury. A cam walker boot helps stabilize the bones during the healing process while allowing for some amount of mobility and weight bearing. Certain fractures, such as those of the clavicle, only require use of an arm sling instead of more intensive immobilization.
Physical therapy is an important component of orthopedic care. Many back muscle strains and even certain types of herniated discs can be managed with this modality. It is often the first choice of treatment for joint injuries involving the knee, elbow, or shoulder. Physical therapy can both reduce pain and improve mobility.
There is an increasing effort to reduce the use of habit-forming medications to treat pain after an accident. Mild to moderate pain can be managed with over-the-counter acetaminophen and ibuprofen. For more bothersome pain, an orthopedist may prescribe higher-dose non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication or a topical pain reliever.
Muscle relaxants may be helpful for muscle spasms, and a medication called Gabapentin can reduce pain from injured nerves. Opioid medications are typically avoided and reserved for the initial management of post-operative pain.
When Surgery Is The Only Option
Surgical treatment of injuries is necessary when an accident results in complex bone fractures or tears of ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Metal pins or other implantable hardware may be needed to stabilize bone fragments. Blood vessels and nerves may need repair in addition to any torn ligaments or tendons. When the injury is severe, these injured areas will heal poorly and result in permanent disability without surgical intervention.
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Common Orthopedic Surgerical Treatment
Orthopedists perform a multitude of different surgeries to manage different types of bone and joint injuries. The following are the most common types of orthopedic surgeries:
Open Reduction and Internal Fixation Surgery (ORIF)
This surgery is used to repair fractured bones that cannot be treated with a cast or splint. During this surgery, the surgeon will attempt to piece the bone fragments back together. The surgeon will use metallic devices like screws, rods, plates, and wire to hold the broken pieces of bone together. Once put back and held together, a callous formation bonds the fractured pieces of bone back together.
Rotator Cuff Surgery Repair
Rotator cuff surgery repair involves the repair of a torn rotator cuff tendon. Torn tendons are usually re-attached to the head of the humerus. Rotator cuff surgery repair can be performed using an arthroscope or an open incision. The orthopedic surgeon uses sutures to hold the tendon in the right place.
Meniscal Repair Surgery
Meniscal repair surgery is performed to repair a torn meniscus in the knee. A meniscus is a cartilage that cushions and stabilizes the knee joint. A torn meniscus can be painful and cause disability. Repair of the meniscus is usually done using arthroscopy;
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Surgery
During carpal tunnel surgery, an incision is made in the Transverse Carpal Ligament. This is done to open the carpal tunnel and make it larger to reduce pressure on the median nerve.
Minimally invasive alternative surgery to standard surgical procedures. Using small incisions, a small camera and surgical tools are positioned inside the joint to assess and repair the damage.
ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) Reconstruction Surgery
Repair of a torn ACL using a fragment of a tendon taken from another part of the body;
Hip replacement Surgery
The hip consists of a ball and socket that experiences wear and tear over time. In hip replacement surgery, the ball and socket are replaced with metal or plastic devices;
Knee Replacement Surgery
This type of surgery can either be a partial or total knee replacement. The knee is totally replaced with metal components in total knee replacement surgery. In partial knee replacement surgery, only the damaged parts of the knee are replaced.
Shoulder Replacement Surgery
During this type of surgery, the upper part of the humerus is replaced with a metal ball, and a plastic prosthesis. In partial shoulder replacement surgery, metal components only replace the damaged parts of the shoulder;
Arthritis patients sometimes undergo joint fusion surgery. During this type of surgery, the damaged cartilage is detached and replaced with a graft taken from uninjured cartilage. The bones on either side of the joint are then fused, providing joint stability;
This type of surgery involves the removal of a portion of the vertebral bone known as the lamina. This is done to help reduce pressure on the nerves and spinal cord thereby relieving pain; and
Trigger Finger Release Surgery
In this surgery, the orthopedic surgeon releases the constricted tendon sheath to allow the finger and thumb to move more freely.
What Can You Expect After Treatment With an Orthopedist?
After orthopedic surgery, your doctor will usually order physical therapy. Physical therapy will help reduce pain and regain range of motion and joint function. Additionally, your surgeon will order repeating x-rays over a period of time to monitor your healing.
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