- Orthopaedic surgery is an operative procedure performed by a qualified orthopaedist specialist or orthopaedic surgeon to treat musculoskeletal problems affecting the bones, joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments caused by accident, trauma, injury or chronic condition.
- Orthopaedic surgery can also correct problems of the nervous system linked to the spinal column, as well as congenital defects and musculoskeletal issues caused by aging.
Arthroscopy - an advanced minimally invasive technique for diagnosing and repairing damaged joint tissue performed with the use of probes, thin tubes and small instruments
Bone fracture repair - surgical procedures for treating broken ankle, leg, hip, ribs, arm, collarbone (virtually any bone for that matter); involves incisions through which the bones are fixed and aligned, often with the use of screws or splints
Arthroplasty - a range of techniques for replacing whole joints such as the hip or the knees, such as for chronic cases of arthritis; this involves replacing diseased joints with prosthetic rubbery material to restore movement in the joints
Damaged tissue repair - a surgical procedure where torn ligaments or tendons are reconstructed through grafts taken elsewhere in the body
Corrective surgery - a range of procedures performed to correct misalignment and deformities of the limbs or spine to improve and optimize movement; among usual procedures are fusion surgery (welding together two parts to form a single bone) and osteotomy (cutting and reposition of the bone).
Trauma to the bones and soft tissues that fall under orthopedic care may be accompanied by several possible symptoms, depending on which part of the body is affected. The most common symptoms of a broken limb or body part include:
- Bleeding, but only if the break in the bone damages the skin
- Major bruising
- Inability to move the affected part without experiencing pain
- Bone sticking out at an abnormal angle
- Bone sticking out of the skin
- A pins and needles sensation if some nerves are injured
- Inability to lift or rotate the injured part
- Inability to put any weight (for leg injuries)
- Severe pain when breathing in (for broken ribs)
- Shallow breathing
- A grinding, cracking, or snapping noise is heard at the time of the fall or accident
The many different types of orthopedic trauma are classified based on the affected body part.
- Upper extremity injury, which includes a broken arm or wrist, collarbone, or ribs
- Lower extremity injury, which includes a broken ankle, hip, or legs
- Soft tissue injury, which affects the muscles, tendon, and ligaments
The most common causes of traumatic injuries are:
- Twisting the ankle
- Sporting accidents
- Other types of accident
- Severe coughing
- Blows to specific parts of the body
Some people also have a greater propensity to broken bones after a fall or accident. For example, a person suffering from osteoporosis, a condition wherein the person’s bones are weak and fragile, can easily break a bone even with a minor fall or slip. Some people may also suffer from conditions that affect their eyesight or their balance, causing them to fall more frequently and raising their risk of injury.
Additionally, bones do not always break the same way. The break can occur in a straight line, diagonally, or in a spiral manner. Bones can also break into several pieces and, in open fractures, they may stick out of the skin.