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Orthopedic Surgeon

Overview

Orthopaedic surgeons manage special problems of the musculoskeletal system. This involves:

  • Diagnosis of your injury or disorder
  • Treatment with medication, exercise, surgery or other treatment plans
  • Rehabilitation by recommending exercises or physical therapy to restore movement, strength and function
  • Prevention with information and treatment plans to prevent injury or slow the progression of diseases
While orthopaedic surgeons are familiar with all aspects of the musculoskeletal system, many orthopaedists specialize in certain areas, such as the foot and ankle, spine, hip or knee. They may also choose to focus on specific fields like pediatrics, trauma or sports medicine. Some orthopaedic surgeons may specialize in several areas.

An orthopaedic surgeon is a medical doctor with extensive training in the proper diagnosis and treatment of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Orthopaedic surgeons complete up to 14 years of formal education:

  • Four years of study in a college or university
  • Four years of study in medical school
  • Five years of study in orthopaedic residency at a major medical center
  • One optional year of specialized education

Source: MedlinePlus and American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Note: This definition was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

OrthoInfo
A service of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, this site offers general information on injuries, preventing falls, arthritis, bone health and much more.

American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
This site has a "Hip and Knee Care" section with lots of information and answers to FAQs.

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