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What Is Orthopaedics?
What Is Orthopaedics?

Understanding the Musculoskeletal System

In addition to protecting vital organs, the bones provide the framework for the form of the body. Tendons connect muscles to bone. Ligaments serve to connect bone or cartilage to bone, creating joints. This system of muscles and connective tissues serves to move the skeleton and, thus, the body. Tendons and ligaments are fibrous in nature. While they are flexible, they tend to be inelastic and vulnerable to overstretching. This is a common orthopaedic injury.


Like most complex systems, the components making up the musculoskeletal system are interdependent. That means the parts work together and rely upon each other. Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the strain on joints. As a result, the tendons and ligaments can do their job easier. Eating a diet rich in nutrients helps to ensure that the bones and connective tissues are strong enough to perform their functions. Being proactive in treating orthopaedic injuries or problems can protect other parts of the musculoskeletal system from damage.

Orthopaedics Is a Wide Field

With the complexities involved in mobility and the musculoskeletal system, it is not surprising to find that orthopaedics encompasses a broad group of specialties. Orthopaedic surgery is one of the standout specialties. These skilled surgeons can do amazing reconstructive work. This includes the repair of severe bone breaks and congenital malformations.

Research and technological development have moved orthopaedic surgery forward over the past decade. Fifty years ago, any damage to hips and knees could have severely limited a patient’s mobility. Older people, especially, often experienced a negative, life-shortening poor health cycle. Today, mobility-restoring hip and knee replacements are among the most common types of orthopaedic surgeries.

According to the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, all orthopaedists that are Board Certified are also trained surgeons. However, not all orthopaedists choose to specialize in surgery. Rehabilitative care is a vital orthopaedic specialty. Its focus is on restoring musculoskeletal health and mobility after injury or surgery. Orthopaedic rehabilitation specialists provide targeted physical therapy plans. Therefore, each treatment is designed to meet individual recovery needs and goals.

Sports medicine is another important orthopaedic specialty. Professional, student, and hobbyist athletes can benefit from orthopaedic injury prevention care. Injury prevention is especially important in youth sports. That is because children’s musculoskeletal systems are still growing and developing. They can be more vulnerable to injuries that can cause lasting damage.

Diseases and chronic conditions that attack the musculoskeletal system include arthritis, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis. Thus, orthopaedic care also plays a part in long-term pain management by seeking to treat the root cause of a patient’s pain. Some chronic conditions can cause malformations of the feet. As a result, a patient will require orthopaedic surgery to restore mobility. Orthopaedic medicine has helped to expand the body of knowledge relating to back injuries and how best to decrease pain and increase function.

Provides Vital Health Care

Orthopaedics is a highly skilled medical specialty focused on musculoskeletal health and the mechanics of mobility. There is a vast number of specialists within this medical field. That gives patients the chance to choose a medical professional suitable for their own specific orthopaedic care needs. Typically, a primary care provider can help a patient find the right orthopaedic specialist in the area.