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What are Orthopedic Conditions?

Orthopedic conditions are injuries and diseases that affect the musculoskeletal system. This body system includes the muscles, bones, nerves, joints, ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues. Damage to any of these tissues or structures can come from chronic orthopedic diseases or an injury.

Chronic orthopedic conditions, such as arthritis and bursitis, affect the musculoskeletal system – most commonly the bones or joints. They can cause pain and dysfunction, making even normal daily activities difficult. These conditions are different from orthopedic injuries, like a shoulder dislocation or broken bone, which are often due to sudden trauma. Unlike accidental or traumatic orthopedic injuries, chronic conditions tend to be progressive, starting slowly and getting worse or evolving. They may be genetic or age-related, or they may be caused by overuse.

The importance of treatment

Some Orthopedic Conditions are curable and some cannot currently be cured but can be treated to reduce pain and improve quality of life. Getting an accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment can help reduce problems down the road – even in progressive conditions without a cure.

Treatment recommendations will depend upon the type and severity of your condition. Treatments vary from the RICE Method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) to significant surgery.

Orthopedics is a branch of medicine that focuses on the care of the skeletal system and its interconnecting parts.

These parts include the:

  • bones
  • muscles
  • joints
  • tendons
  • ligaments

An orthopedist often works as part of a larger orthopedic treatment team. This team may include:

  • physician assistants
  • nurse practitioners
  • occupational and physical therapists
  • athletic trainers

Types of orthopedic practices

An orthopedist may specialize in a particular branch of orthopedic medicine. These branches are called subspecialties.

Some orthopedic subspecialties include:

  • hand and upper extremity
  • foot and ankle
  • musculoskeletal oncology (tumour)
  • pediatric orthopedics
  • sports medicine
  • spine surgery
  • trauma surgery
  • joint replacement surgery