What Does an Orthopaedic Surgeon Do?

Doctor with mask on

If you are about to meet with an orthopaedic surgeon for the first time, you may have a few questions. Some of which may be “what is an orthopaedic surgeon and what do they do?” Orthopaedic surgery can refer to a broad range of very specific care specialties, and it’s important to know what exactly they can do to help your condition. To get a clearer understanding of orthopaedic surgeons and their specialties, here is a breakdown of some common questions from patients.

What do Orthopaedic Surgeons Treat?

These specialists treat any conditions affecting bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and nerves in patients of all ages. Some of these could include arthritis, dislocations, fractures, sprains, strains, and osteoporosis. Despite the title, an orthopaedic surgeon may not always perform surgery on patients without recommending other treatments. They may prescribe medication, or recommend rehabilitative physical therapy or exercises. If necessary, the surgeon can recommend surgery, should any of their recommendations or therapies be ineffective in treating the patient.

What do Orthopaedic Surgeons Specialize in?

General specialties of an orthopaedic surgeon could include sports medicine, trauma and fractures, pediatric, rehabilitation, and joint replacement. Some specialists can get more specific and focus on areas like hands, foot and ankle, spine, shoulder, and elbows. Depending on the condition you would like treated, check out what the orthopaedic surgeons in your area do and try to find a specialist, if possible.

What do I Need to Prepare Before Seeing an Orthopaedic Surgeon?

There are a few things you’ll need to bring along with you before meeting with the surgeon. Some important pieces of information to bring are any notes from other doctors and orthopaedic specialists so the surgeon can easily understand why you are visiting and how you’ve been treated in the past. Along with these notes, any X-rays, MRIs, and other visuals of your condition will be helpful to the surgeon.

Orthopaedic surgeons will also need to know your injury history, if there is one, to understand where the pain is coming from and how to best correct it. An MRI can provide detailed information, but the story of how you were injured or how the pain has developed and progressed can often be more telling. While these pieces of information are essential to have for your appointment, any questions you may have are just as important. Asking your surgeon questions will help in your understanding of your body and how the surgeon can help. Aside from general questions about the recommended treatment, you’ll also want to ask about your recovery, such as how quickly you can return to work or school after surgery, or how the prescribed medications will affect your ability to drive.

Seeing a surgeon can be stressful, particularly if you are not used to receiving specialty treatments. At Advanced Surgical Hospital, we provide orthopaedic care to those who need it and can answer all of these questions and more during your visit with one of our specialists. Contact us for more information on orthopaedic surgery and if it is right for you and your body’s needs.