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Orthopedics

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APC Icon — Orthopedics

There are over 150 different orthopedic conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system.

Orthopedics is the branch of medicine that addresses conditions involving the musculoskeletal system of the human body and addresses the correction of any spinal and/or bone deformities.

Orthopedic conditions are diseases or injuries that affect or damage the musculoskeletal system: the muscles, nerves, joints, bones, tendons, ligaments and any other tissues that act as connectors. Orthopedic conditions can be short-term such as sprains or fractures, or lifelong such as arthritis.

What are the common causes of orthopedic conditions?

The cause of any orthopedic condition depends on the specific injury, however, there are some common injuries that can also eventually lead to conditions such as arthritis. These include:

  • Age-related wear and tear
  • Repetitive motions of joints
  • Injuries
  • Age-related wear and tear
  • Repetitive motions of joints
  • Overuse of limbs

Chronic orthopedic conditions include arthritis, osteoporosis, bursitis, tumors as well as pain in the joints, muscles, knee, hip, neck, and back.

What are the different types of orthopedic conditions?

The most common conditions include arthritis, back and neck pain, trauma-related conditions, systemic inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and fractures caused by any fragility in the bones.

There are over 150 different orthopedic conditions associated with the human musculoskeletal system. Some of the orthopedic or musculoskeletal conditions affecting the human locomotor body include:

  • Sarcopenia that affects the muscles
  • Back and neck pain which is indicative of issues in the spine
  • Osteoporosis, osteopenia, trauma and fracture-related injuries that affect the bones, Paget’s bone disease
  • Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, etc., that affect the joints
  • Herniated intervertebral disc in the back
  • Spinal deformities such as scoliosis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus and other connective tissue diseases that affect multiple parts of the musculoskeletal system
  • Impingement syndrome and rotator cuff tear affecting the shoulder
  • Myeloma, a tumor of the bone marrow, leukemia, as well as other bone and joint cancers that affect the bones and the connective tissues
  • Injuries to the spine, pelvis, neck, etc.

Other common conditions include bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis, baseball elbow or medial epicondylitis, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, cubital tunnel syndrome, and meniscus tear.

What are the signs and symptoms of orthopedic conditions?

Orthopedic specialists or surgeons look for some of the following signs or symptoms to accurately diagnose orthopedic conditions. Common signs include:

  • Deformity in the affected area
  • Inflammation in and around the affected area
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Numbness
  • Pain in the bones
  • Stiffness
  • Pain in the joints
  • Pain in the muscles
  • Deformity in the affected area
  • Inflammation in and around the affected area
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Numbness
  • Pain in the bones
  • Stiffness
  • Pain in the joints
  • Pain in the muscles
When should I see an orthopedic doctor?

Pain is one of the main reasons people visit an orthopedic doctor or specialist. Apart from pain in the affected areas, other signs that indicate you may need to consult with an orthopedic doctor or specialists to evaluate your condition include:

  • Pain, stiffness or numbness that makes daily functions difficult to perform
  • Chronic pain lasting over 12 weeks
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Loss of balance while standing or walking
  • Loss in coordination
  • Bone, joint or muscle pain that began after an injury/accident
  • Soft tissue injury that has not shown any improvement,
  • Increasing weakness in the limbs
  • Radiating pain in the limbs
  • Injury during sports or any athletic activity
  • Ruptured or torn tendons
  • Dislocation of bones
  • Progressive knee or hip pain
  • Pain, stiffness or numbness that makes daily functions difficult to perform
  • Chronic pain lasting over 12 weeks
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Loss of balance while standing or walking
  • Loss in coordination
  • Bone, joint or muscle pain that began after an injury/accident
  • Soft tissue injury that has not shown any improvement,
  • Increasing weakness in the limbs
  • Radiating pain in the limbs
  • Injury during sports or any athletic activity
  • Ruptured or torn tendons
  • Dislocation of bones
  • Progressive knee or hip pain
Our Orthopedic Specialists

Advanced Pain Care’s specialists bring extensive clinical and research experience to our team of expert pain care physicians and provides our patients with the highest quality of care.

How is an orthopedic condition diagnosed initially?

If you have made an appointment with an orthopedic specialist for diagnosis, the doctor will follow these steps to arrive at an accurate diagnosis:

  • Medical history — Your orthopedic specialist will ask you about your current and past signs and symptoms, general health condition, family medical condition (including family history of arthritis or osteoporosis), pre-dispositions to obesity, hypertension, etc.
  • Physical examinations which include gait analysis, muscle tests, stress tests, and flexibility tests to determine range of motion as well as capacity to perform functions such as walking, climbing, bending, etc.
  • X-rays to determine any presence of cysts, deformities or fractures
  • MRIs to identify torn muscles, ligaments or damaged cartilage, etc.

Once your specialist performs these tests to exclude conditions and narrow down the prognosis, specific tests will be prescribed to reach an accurate diagnosis.

What are the tests used to diagnose specific orthopedic conditions?

Some of the tests that are commonly prescribed to isolate and identify specific orthopedic conditions include:

  • Blood tests to isolate specimens to narrow down the scope to rheumatoid arthritis
  • Arthrography, where a contrast iodine solution is injected into the joint area to highlight the musculoskeletal system in the region. This helps diagnose unexplained joint pain.
  • Bone scans such as peripheral bone density testing, dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, and dual-photon absorptiometry to determine the density of the bones. This is prescribed when osteoporosis is suspected.
  • Venography to check for blood clots in the leg to identify conditions such as deep vein thrombosis or fatal conditions such as pulmonary embolism.
  • Discography to check if the discs that cushion the bones in the spine are the cause of the pain.
  • Electromyography and nerve conduction study to analyze the functioning of the nerves in the limbs.
  • CT scans to detect any tumors or fractures that have not been identified by X-rays or MRIs.
  • Joint aspiration to diagnose and treat conditions such as bursitis.
  • Bone or bone marrow biopsies to determine malignancies.
How are orthopedic conditions treated?

Orthopedic injuries can often be effectively repaired, however, in some cases, orthopedic conditions can only be managed for pain or minimizing the progression of the condition. Getting an accurate diagnosis will help to arrive at a targeted plan of treatment. For a simple injury causing inflammation and/or pain, the common treatment is RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

For the more complex diagnoses and in case of chronic conditions, treatment can vary from non-surgical interventions to surgical procedures. Orthopedic surgeons can decide on non-surgical interventions to surgical procedures to treat conditions such as degenerative diseases, infections, tumors, congenital disorders, musculoskeletal trauma, spine diseases, and sports injuries.

Non-surgical procedures for treating orthopedic conditions include:

  1. Corticosteroid injection to give relief in case of inflammation
  2. SI joint injections in case of sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  3. Facet block injections to treat severe arthritis
  4. Cervical epidural injections to treat back, neck or limb pain
  5. Ultrasound-guided steroid injections for knee pain
  6. Steroid injections in the bursa

Or procedures such as:

  1. Aspiration or fluid drainage in case of conditions such as bursitis
  2. Joint manipulations in case of dislocations
  3. Bracing or casting for fractures or tears
  4. Lumbar sympathetic blocks to treat conditions such as sciatica
  5. Viscosupplementation for treating arthritis
  6. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy for conditions such as lateral epicondylitis and plantar fasciitis

Surgical procedures for orthopedic conditions include:

  1. Arthroplasty or joint replacements
  2. Ligament reconstructions
  3. Joint revision surgeries
  4. Arthroscopic surgeries
  5. Bunionectomy and hammer toe repair
  6. Cartilage repair or resurfacing
  7. Spinal surgeries such as spinal fusion, discectomy, laminectomy, and foraminotomy
  8. Fracture repair surgeries
  9. Osteotomy to correct deformities in the bone
  10. Excision or removal of soft tissue or bone tumors
  11. Soft tissue repair for ruptured or torn ligaments or tendons
What are the treatments for the orthopedic conditions in specific regions?

There are orthopedic conditions that affect specific regions such as:

Shoulder Orthopedic conditions in the shoulder can include injuries such as dislocations, rotator cuff tears, frozen shoulder or fractures.

Severe conditions can be in the form of tendonitis, swimmer’s shoulder, adhesive capsulitis, arthritis, Parton’s-Turner syndrome, rotator cuff disease, etc. Treatment for any orthopedic condition in the shoulder can include:

  1. Repair of rotator cuff tendon
  2. Shoulder arthroscopy and debridement
  3. Arthroscopic labral repair
  4. Reverse total shoulder replacement
  5. Rotator cuff surgery
  6. Shoulder arthroscopy
  7. Shoulder replacements
  8. Arthroscopic surgery

HipHip sprains, tears and fractures, labrum or joint socket lining tears, bursitis, tumor, arthritis. Treatment for any orthopedic condition in the hip can include:

  1. Direct Anterior Hip Replacement
  2. Hip Arthroscopy
  3. Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement
  4. Total Hip Replacement

KneeTumors, arthritis, tendon injuries, bursitis, meniscus, etc. Treatment for any orthopedic condition in the knee can include:

  1. ACL Surgery
  2. Knee Arthroscopy
  3. Ligament Reconstruction
  4. Outpatient uni Knee Replacement
  5. Partial (uni compartmental) Knee Replacement
  6. Partial Knee Resurfacing
  7. Total Joint Replacement
  8. Total Knee Replacement

Hand, Wrist, and Elbow Tendonitis, ganglion cysts, tendon tears, carpal tunnel syndrome arthritis, dislocations, epicondylitis, etc. Treatment for any orthopedic condition in the hands, wrist, and elbow can include:

  1. Carpal Tunnel Treatment
  2. De Quervain’s Disease treatment
  3. Ganglion Cyst Treatment
  4. Hand / Finger Joint Replacements
  5. Hand Arthritis Treatment
  6. Hand Fracture Treatment
  7. Trigger Finger Treatment
  8. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome treatment
  9. Elbow Arthroscopy
  10. Golfers Elbow Treatment
  11. Tennis Elbow Treatment
  12. Tommy John Surgery

Ankles, Feet, and Legs Sesamoiditis, hammer toe, Tarsal tunnel syndrome, foot and ankle deformities, etc. Treatment for any orthopedic condition in the ankles, feet, and legs can include:

  1. Ankle Arthritis Treatment
  2. Ankle Fracture Treatment
  3. Heel Cord Tendonitis treatment
  4. Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction Treatment
  5. Bunion Correction
  6. Foot Arthritis Treatment

FAQS

Q: What does an orthopedic doctor do?

A: Orthopedic doctors specialize in the entire musculoskeletal system: the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and the muscles that are important to basic body movement and function.

Q: When should I see an orthopedic doctor?

A: Pain is one of the usual signs for which people visit an orthopedic doctor. Apart from pain in the affected areas, other signs that indicate you may need to consult with an orthopedic doctor to evaluate your condition include:

  • Any pain lasting over 3 weeks
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Pain, stiffness or numbness that makes daily functions difficult to perform
  • Loss of balance while standing or walking
  • Loss in coordination
  • Increasing weakness in the limbs
  • Soft tissue injury that has not shown any improvement
  • Bone, joint or muscle pain that began after an injury/accident
  • Ruptured or torn tendons
  • Dislocation of bones
  • Progressive knee or hip pain
  • Radiating pain in the limbs
  • Injury during sports or any athletic activity

Q: What is considered an orthopedic surgery?

A: Orthopedic surgery focuses on treating joints, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and muscles in the musculoskeletal system using surgical interventions. Orthopedic surgery can treat different conditions ranging from a birth defect to an injury to even acute arthritis.

Q: What does an orthopedic surgeon do?

A: An orthopedic surgeon, along with diagnosing, treating, and preventing musculoskeletal problems, also performs surgical procedures to help repair orthopedic injuries or deformities.

Q: How long does it take to recover from orthopedic surgery?

A: Recovery from an orthopedic surgery depends on two main factors: type and complexity of the procedure performed as well as the general health condition of the patient. For some patients, discharge can be on the same day, even if the procedure performed was a total joint replacement. For others, complete recovery could take several weeks. Before deciding on the surgery, make sure that you ask your surgeon about your recovery time.

Q: What are the most common diseases in orthopedics?

A: Some of the orthopedic or musculoskeletal conditions affecting the human body include:

  • Sarcopenia
  • Back and neck pain
  • Osteoporosis, osteopenia, trauma and fracture-related injuries, Paget’s bone disease
  • Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, etc.
  • Herniated intervertebral disc in the back
  • Spinal deformities such as scoliosis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus and other connective tissue diseases that affect multiple parts of the musculoskeletal system
  • Impingement syndrome and rotator cuff tear in the shoulder
  • Myeloma, a tumor of the bone marrow, leukemia, as well as other bone and joint cancers that affect the bones and the connective tissues
  • Injuries to the spine, pelvis, neck, etc.

Other common conditions include bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow or lateral epicondylitis, baseball elbow or medial epicondylitis, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia, cubital tunnel syndrome, and meniscus.

Q: What can an orthopedic doctor do for arthritis?

A: If you are suffering from an acute or chronic orthopedic condition such as arthritis, you may be referred to an orthopedist or a rheumatologist depending on the type of arthritis that you may have. For a degenerative form of arthritis, you will be referred to an orthopedist. A rheumatologist will assist you in case of autoimmune conditions and the non-surgical treatment of diseases such as arthritis.