What is an Orthopedic Surgery?
Orthopedic surgery or otherwise known as orthopedics, is concerned with health conditions and diseases that affect the musculoskeletal system including joints, bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons and connective tissues.
Doctors who major in orthopedic surgery are known as orthopedic surgeons, and use surgical and non-surgical treatment methods to reduce the debilitating pain and improve functionality.
Types of Orthopedic Surgery
Key-hole surgery or better known as arthroscopy surgery is a minimally invasive technique that aims at diagnosing and treating joint problems. In this procedure, 2-3 small incisions are made around the affected joint, where one incision is used to insert arthroscope while other incisions are used to insert other instruments or gain access to more parts of the joint.
- Bone Fracture Repair
It focuses on re-positioning the separated bone in the original place so as to achieve normal alignment. Severely broken bones are fused using plates, screws, nails and pins. At times bone grafts may be used to assist the healing process. This method is commonly practiced when dealing with fractures like broken rib, leg, hip, ankle or collar bone.
It is an orthopedic surgical procedure where a damaged or degenerative joint is replaced with an artificial joint made of ceramic, metal or heavy duty plastic to relieve pain caused by arthritis or some other disease. It is commonly used for knee or hip replacement surgery. There are two types of replacement surgery- total joint replacement surgery or partial joint replacement surgery.
- Tissue Repair surgery
Whilst Arthroplasty and Arthroscopy is more focused towards bone and joint repairing, tissue repair surgery is a treatment of injured muscles, torn ligaments or tendons. In most of the cases like sprains or strains conservative treatments like physical therapy are effective. However, some grave injuries or tears require surgery.
- Corrective Surgery
Corrective surgeries are frequently performed to correct structural abnormalities or deformities, especially of spine and limbs. Spinal deformities such as kyphosis, scoliosis, etc are corrected with this surgery. It becomes imperative to perform this surgery when it affects the mobility, function and degrades the quality of life. Osteotomy and Fusion are types of corrective surgeries. Osteotomy is concerned with cutting and re-positioning of the bone whereas fusion involves welding or fusing of bones together.
There is a huge misconception regarding orthopedic surgery that they don’t help and that traditional methods of treatment are more effective and safe. There is also another misconception that pain is a normal part of aging and one must learn to bear with it. Well, first of all, there is a lot of evidence on the efficacy of traditional methods of treatment due to which patients are advised to start with these treatments first, when these treatments reach their therapeutic limits and patients show no sign of recovery only then surgery is recommended.
Health benefits of an orthopedic surgery
- Reduction or Elimination Pain
The primary health benefit of an orthopedic surgery is to provide relief from debilitating pain. The pain might arise either because of an injury or a health condition. Injuries involve fractures, sudden ligament tear etc whereas health conditions include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis etc. Visiting an orthopedic surgeon becomes imperative when one suffers from the above-mentioned conditions so as to ensure elimination of pain, restoration of functionality of affected joints and continuation of normal life.
- Rehabilitation of Normal Functionality
With orthopedic injuries and disorders, loss of joint mobility and function is typical. However, this leads to severe pain and discomfort which not only negatively influences the ability to perform physical activities but also impacts the quality of life. Nevertheless, with surgery, medication and physical therapy, it becomes easier to achieve normal function of the joint. Usually, on the failure of traditional treatment methods surgery is recommended wherein an artificial joint is replaced with the worn out and damaged joint which helps the patient live an improved and healthy life.
- Reduced Swelling and inflammation
Joints become swollen and stiff due to injuries caused by high level of activity or being overweight. Such conditions might cause lead to rupture in the ligaments as well. Bursa is a sack that is filled with a fluid that acts as a lubricant between muscles, tendons and bones. This swelling of the sac is known as Bursitis and happens mostly in shoulders, knees, elbows, feet and hips. During the surgery excess liquid from bursa is removed, in certain cases, where bursa is severely damaged the entire sac is removed thereby providing pain relief and reducing swelling and inflammation.
- Improved Exercise and Sports Performance
Injuries are unavoidable in any field of work, today. In sports, with intense workout and physical activity injury is normal, but a desk job could also lead to injuries. As we’re moving forward, lifestyle is changing, modern furniture has sharper edges, doors have multiple metallic knobs and so on. Even the things that don’t seem perilous, in extraordinary cases may turn detrimental and can cause injury. Orthopedic surgery aims at treating bone and ligament injuries. Patients, post surgery have noticed improved motion of the joint, lesser pain which led them to exercise freely. To sum it up in brief, surgeries have rendered patients with better quality of life.
- Better Treatment Response
Orthopedic surgery certainly becomes the best option at hand in case inflammation, swelling and pain doesn’t get better with rest, medication or other treatments including physiotherapy, injections and other miniscule treatments. Long term intake of medications may give rise to other health complications later in life, physical dependence and even addiction. Orthopedic surgeries reduce dependence on medication and other treatments, and give better results.
Orthopedic disorders like arthritis, sometimes force the patient to become dependable on crutches, canes or walkers for mobility. This robs the patient of enjoying the freedom of walking without any support or help, or even worse steals the joy of ever being able to walk. Orthopedic surgery has shown effective results in most cases and makes the patients satisfied.
Burgeoning pain and stiffness is a sign that one should visit an orthopedic surgeon. On being recommended for surgery, one must not hesitate as surgeries have its own several advantages that’ll help get back to your normal life quickly, and are usually cost effective.