What is Orthopaedy?
Orthopaedics, also spelled as Orthopedics, is a branch of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders or injuries of the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Orthopaedists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopaedic conditions, using both surgical and non-surgical methods.
Orthopaedics covers a wide range of conditions, such as arthritis, fractures, dislocations, sprains, strains, back pain, neck pain, and other musculoskeletal injuries or disorders. The goal of orthopaedic treatment is to relieve pain, restore mobility and function, and improve the patient’s quality of life. Orthopaedic surgeons also work closely with physical therapists, occupational therapists, and other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care for patients with orthopaedic conditions.
Other orthopaedic surgeries
There are many types of orthopaedic surgeries that can be performed depending on the specific condition and the patient’s individual needs.
Some of the common orthopaedic surgeries include:
- Hip and knee replacement : This involves the removal of a damaged joint and replacing it with an artificial joint made of metal or plastic. This is most commonly performed for hip and knee joints ;
- Spinal surgery : This involves the correction of deformities or injuries in the spine, such as herniated discs or spinal stenosis ;
- Arthroscopy : This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that allows a surgeon to visualize, diagnose and treat joint problems such as torn cartilage or ligaments ;
- Fracture repair : This involves the realignment of broken bones and fixing them in place with screws, plates, or other devices to allow them to heal properly ;
- Soft tissue repair : This includes surgeries to repair or reconstruct torn tendons, ligaments, or muscles, such as rotator cuff repair or ACL reconstruction ;
- Hand surgery : This involves surgery to treat conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, or Dupuytren’s contracture ;
- Foot and ankle surgery : This includes surgeries to treat conditions such as bunions, hammertoes, and ankle fractures ;
- Sports medicine surgery : This includes surgeries to treat sports-related injuries such as torn ligaments or cartilage ;
These are just a few examples of the many types of orthopaedic surgeries that may be performed depending on the specific condition and the patient’s individual needs.
Orthopaedic Surgery Price
The cost of orthopaedic surgery can vary depending on several factors, such as the specific type of surgery, the location of the facility, the surgeon’s experience, and the patient’s health insurance coverage. In general, orthopaedic surgeries tend to be more expensive than non-surgical treatments, such as physical therapy or medication.
For example, joint replacement surgery can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the type of joint, the hospital or clinic where the surgery is performed, and the patient’s insurance coverage. Similarly, spinal surgery can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 depending on the type of procedure and the surgeon’s experience.
However, it is important to note that the cost of orthopaedic surgery should not be the only consideration when making a decision about treatment. Patients should also consider the potential benefits and risks of surgery, as well as the potential for non-surgical treatments to be effective.
In addition, many health insurance plans cover some or all of the cost of orthopaedic surgery, so patients should check with their insurance provider to determine what their out-of-pocket costs will be. Some facilities also offer payment plans or financial assistance programs to help patients afford the cost of surgery.
What you need to know before you start?
If you are considering undergoing orthopaedic surgery, there are several things you should know and consider before you start:
- Understand your condition : It is important to understand the condition that is causing your symptoms, as well as the potential benefits and risks of surgery. Ask your doctor to explain the condition, the treatment options, and what you can expect during and after surgery ;
- Choose the right surgeon : It is important to choose a surgeon who is experienced in the type of surgery you need. You can ask your doctor for a referral, or do your own research to find a surgeon who has a good reputation and a track record of successful outcomes ;
- Prepare for surgery : Your surgeon will provide you with instructions on how to prepare for surgery, such as what to eat or drink, what medications to take, and what to avoid in the days leading up to surgery ;
- Understand the risks : All surgeries come with risks, such as bleeding, infection, and complications from anesthesia. Make sure you understand the potential risks associated with your surgery, as well as how your surgeon plans to minimize these risks ;
- Plan for recovery : Orthopaedic surgery often requires a period of recovery, during which you may need to rest, use assistive devices such as crutches or a walker, and participate in physical therapy. Make sure you understand what to expect during the recovery period, as well as what you can do to promote healing and minimize the risk of complications ;
- Follow post-operative instructions : Your surgeon will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for your incision, manage pain, and prevent complications. It is important to follow these instructions closely to ensure a successful outcome ;
By understanding these factors and taking the necessary steps to prepare for surgery and recovery, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome and a speedy recovery.
How the orthopaedic surgery is performed ?
The specific technique used for orthopaedic surgery will depend on the type of surgery being performed and the patient’s individual needs.
However, most orthopaedic surgeries follow a similar general process :
- Anesthesia : Before the surgery begins, the patient will be given anesthesia to ensure that they are comfortable and pain-free during the procedure. This may be general anesthesia, which puts the patient to sleep, or local anesthesia, which numbs only the area being operated on ;
- Incision : The surgeon will make an incision in the skin to access the affected area. The size and location of the incision will depend on the type of surgery being performed ;
- Surgery : The surgeon will perform the necessary procedures to correct the orthopaedic condition. This may involve repairing or replacing damaged tissues, realigning bones or joints, or removing damaged tissue ;
- Closure : Once the surgery is complete, the surgeon will close the incision using stitches, staples, or surgical glue ;
- Recovery : The patient will be monitored in a recovery area until the anesthesia wears off and their vital signs are stable. Depending on the type of surgery, the patient may be able to go home the same day, or they may need to stay in the hospital for a few days ;
- Rehabilitation : After the surgery, the patient will likely need to participate in physical therapy or rehabilitation to promote healing, regain strength and mobility, and prevent future injury or complications ;
Orthopaedic surgery can be performed using traditional open surgery techniques or minimally invasive techniques that use smaller incisions and specialized tools. Your surgeon will determine the best approach based on your individual needs and the type of surgery being performed.
Post-operative follow-up to orthopaedic surgery
Post-operative follow-up is an important part of the recovery process after orthopaedic surgery. It involves regular check-ups with your surgeon or a healthcare provider to monitor your progress, manage any complications or concerns, and ensure that you are healing properly.
The frequency and duration of follow-up visits will depend on the type of surgery and your individual needs, but may include:
- Follow-up appointments : You will likely have several follow-up appointments with your surgeon in the weeks and months following surgery. During these visits, your surgeon will check your incision, assess your range of motion, and monitor your progress ;
- Physical therapy : Depending on the type of surgery, you may need to participate in physical therapy or rehabilitation to help you regain strength, mobility, and function. Your therapist will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan, which may involve exercises, stretches, and other therapeutic techniques ;
- Imaging tests : Your surgeon may order imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans to monitor your progress and assess the success of the surgery ;
- Medications : Your surgeon may prescribe pain medication or other medications to manage pain, prevent infection, or reduce inflammation ;
- Home care : Your sugeon may provide instructions on how to care for your incision, manage pain, and prevent complications at home ;
It is important to attend all follow-up appointments and adhere to any instructions provided by your surgeon or healthcare provider to ensure a successful recovery. Be sure to report any new or worsening symptoms, such as pain, swelling, or fever, to your healthcare provider right away.