WHAT IS ORTHOPEDICS
Musculoskeletal conditions and pain create snags to the people at any time and any age. And it is hindering the happiness of people from working or enjoying life. The happy part is that everyone—from the child to the person with traumatic injuries requiring limb-saving surgery—can benefit from the expertise of an orthopaedic surgeon. There are treatment options that help people lead happier and more productive lives. However, many people are diffident when or if they need an orthopaedic surgeon. Some patients are apprehensive and having an impression that surgeon is keen to them under the knife. “Orthopaedic is the key to managing and treating bone and joint, which most of us will experience in our lifetimes”, explains Dr L Scott Levin, Chairman of Penn Orthopaedics and Professor of Plastic Surgery.
Orthopedics is the medical specialty focus on injuries and diseases of your body’s musculoskeletal system. This comprehensive system, which includes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves, allows you to move, work, and be active. These conditions may be present from birth, or they may occur as a result of injury or age-related wear and tear. Orthopaedics, or orthopaedic services, aim at the treatment of the musculoskeletal system. This includes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. There can be many medical problems that can affect the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
Bone problems may include:
- Bone Deformities: A bone deformity is a bone that is not the normal shape or size. It may also be positioned incorrectly which causes poor alignment. Bones may become deformed for many reasons.
- Bone infections/osteomyelitis: Inflammation of bone caused by infection, generally in the legs, arm or spine. Infections can reach bones by travelling through the bloodstream or spreading from nearby tissue. Common symptoms include pain, fever and chills. Smokers and people with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or kidney failure, are more at risk of developing osteomyelitis. People who have diabetes may develop osteomyelitis in their feet if they have foot ulcers. Although once considered incurable, osteomyelitis can now be successfully treated. Treatment is usually surgery to remove portions of bone that have died. After surgery, strong intravenous antibiotics are typically needed.
- Bone tumours / Bone Neoplasm: A mass of unusual cells growing in a bone. Most bone tumours aren’t cancerous. Causes of bone tumours include abnormal healing of an injury, inherited conditions and radiation therapy. They can also be caused by bone cancer or another cancer that has spread to the bone from other parts of the body. A bone tumour may cause a painless mass. Some people have dull, aching pain. In some cases, minor injury causes a fracture near the tumour. Treatments include surgery and radiation.
- Fractures: The word “Fracture” implies to broken bone. A bone may get fractured completely or partially and it is caused commonly from trauma due to fall, motor vehicle accident or sports. Thinning of the bone due to osteoporosis in the elderly can cause the bone to break easily. Overuse injury is a common cause of stress fractures in athletes. Fractures can occur in any bone in the body. There are several different ways in which a bone can fracture; for example, a break to the bone that does not damage surrounding tissue or tear through the skin is known as a closed fracture.
Types of fractures include:
- Simple fractures in which the fractured pieces of bone are well aligned and stable.
- Unstable fractures are those in which fragments of the broken bone are misaligned and displaced.
- Open (compound) fractures are severe fractures in which the broken bones cut through the skin. This type of fracture is more prone to infection and requires immediate medical attention.
- Greenstick fractures: This is a unique fracture in children that involves bending of one side of the bone without any break in the bone.
- Amputation: Amputation is the removal of a limb by trauma, medical illness, or surgery. As a surgical measure, it is used to control pain or a disease process in the affected limb, such as malignancy or gangrene. In some cases, it is carried out on individuals as a preventive surgery for such problems
- Nonunions: (failure of fractures to heal) Nonunion is a serious complication of a fracture and may occur when the fracture moves too much, has a poor blood supply or gets infected. Patients who smoke have a higher incidence of nonunion. The normal process of bone healing is interrupted or stalled.
- Malunions: fractures healing in a wrong position: “Malunion” is a clinical term used to indicate that a fracture has healed, but that it has healed in less than an optimal position. This can happen in almost any bone after fracture and occurs for several reasons. Malunion may result in a bone being shorter than normal, twisted or rotated in a bad position, or bent.
- Spinal deformities: Spinal deformity occurs when the curves of the spine differ from the normal, gentle S-shape seen from the side, or the straight line down the back of a normal spine. Spinal deformities may lead to symptoms that include pain, weakness, numbness, tingling, loss of function, and pulmonary and cardiac problems.