Orthopedic surgeons are medical specialists whose focus is the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of injuries or diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system through surgical and non-surgical treatment approach. Orthopedic surgeons can have specializations in certain body parts such as ankles and feet, spine, shoulder or arm. Orthopedic surgeons may also specialize in a specific orthopedic type such as sports medicine, trauma, pediatrics, reconstructive surgery or oncology.
The field of orthopedic surgery is one field that benefits from new technologies and surgical techniques which promise improved surgical approaches that are patient-specific, less invasive and improved patient recovery period.
Orthopedics is a medical specialty that focuses on the treatment of disorders or deformities in the muscles, nervous system, joints, ligaments, tendons, nervous system and even some skin problems. Orthopedic surgeons perform procedures that can help in the treatment of an infection, getting rid of tumors, restore the body after severe sports injuries and treatment of congenital diseases. They are also responsible for the treatment of hip or shoulder dislocations, pulled muscles, torn ligaments, fractures, bone tumors, osteoporosis; bunions or hammer toes, abnormalities of the fingers and toes, ruptured spinal disks, scoliosis and sciatica.
Orthopedic surgeons use surgical procedures and physical checking to assess and restore function to damaged or diseased parts of the musculoskeletal system. Problems treated by an orthopedic surgeon include degenerative disease, trauma, tumors and congenital deformities. Doctors who specialize in orthopedics may restore function of the damaged body part through surgery to bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Laser operation to get rid of torn knee cartilage and arthroscopy surgery for the treatment of muscle disorders, are two examples of the types of surgery performed by orthopedic surgeons.
Certification of eligibility is issued by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery to doctors in the field of orthopedic surgery who have successfully completed residency training, practiced in the field of orthopedic surgery for two years and passing the written and oral exam. To maintain certification, the orthopedic surgeon is required to have continuing medical education and passing a written or oral exam every seven to 10 years.
Advanced Surgical Treatments & Technologies
The advent of the continuously advancing technology has provided orthopedic patients access to the latest technology and surgical innovations performed by orthopedic surgeons such as:
This relatively new machine is an advanced technology for orthopedic surgery navigation designed to help guide the surgeon in making accurate incisions and cuts in the knee to remove the deformities and abnormalities. Orthopilot helps eliminate human errors and is almost 100% precise in fixing artificial implants. This high-tech machine uses infrared camera and sophisticated software that provides real time information during the surgery, specific to the patient on the table. Orthopilot helps eliminate the expensive and radiation intensive CT and MRI scans before the surgery.
- Computer-Assisted Orthopedic Surgery (CAOS)
This procedure uses computerized imaging to help hip and knee implants accurately aligned. Through the 3 dimensional photos captured during surgery, orthopedic surgeons are able to achieve the exact implant placement. With CAOS, some minor adjustments are made – helping to ensure the best outcome. Because the alignment mimics an individual’s natural anatomy, less wear and tear occurs on the new joint.
- OrthoSensor Intelligent Orthopedics Devices
Implant failures are reduced by addressing the root causes – poor soft tissue balance and inaccurate alignment. The surgical platform of OrthoSensor’s surgical product line informs the orthopedic surgeon with real-time data to optimize the balance and correct positioning of the orthopedic implants. The intelligent surgical devices (Intelligent Orthopedics) provide patient-specific evidence of stability and kinematic information, thereby improving overall implant longevity and reducing misalignment.
- Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF)
With the advancement of technology, less invasive back surgery procedures have been developed to minimize if not eliminate tissue disruption, allow shorter recovery period and a quick return or restoration of normal activities. This procedure is a less invasive alternative to patients suffering from long-term back or leg pain. XLIF involves approaching the spine from the side of the body and requires less surgery time and a shortened hospital confinement. Many patients are able to walk on the same day after surgery and usually recover within six weeks. This is significantly reduced from the more than six months recovery period from traditional and open back surgery.
- 3-D Modeling Technology
Orthopedic surgeons are able to perform simulation of knee replacement surgery on a patient and order customized surgical instruments that will assist the surgeon during surgery. The patient’s MRIs or magnetic resonance images are uploaded to a computer program which allows the surgeon to create a 3D illustration of the knee and simulate placement of the implant weeks ahead prior to actual surgery schedule. The simulation data are used to take into account the unique aspects of each patient’s case. The surgeon will then send a pre-surgery plan to the manufacturer of surgical tools who will use the data to design the surgical instruments and devices and create guides for pin placement to comply with the patient’s precise specifications.
- Muscle-Sparing Total Hip Replacement
An important factor in maximizing performance after a hip surgery is the restoration of muscle function. PATH technique, a muscle-preserving approach, utilizes a 3 ½ inch skin cut or incision and another half-inch puncture, a muscle-preserving approach, is performed. PATH technique allows orthopedic surgeons to minimize damage on soft tissue.
- Uni-Compartmental Knee Arthroplasty
This procedure is also known as PKIS or Partial Knee Implant Surgery. This is another treatment alternative to complete knee replacement for patients with osteoarthritis on the joint of the knee. The most damaged areas of cartilage are removed, replacing one of the knee’s three compartments with an artificial implant.
- Quad-Sparing Total Knee Arthroplasty (TKA)
Using the same implants used in traditional knee surgery, this procedure is a much less invasive way of performing TKA. The orthopedic surgeon makes a 3 to 5 inch incision and uses adapted surgical techniques and special instruments to avoid cutting through those key tissues.
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