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What Exactly Is An Orthopedic Surgeon?

What Exactly Is An Orthopedic Surgeon?

Do you have chronic knee or back pain on a daily basis? Do you have an injury that just doesn't seem to be healing? Or do you feel stiff after long periods of sitting? These are some common reasons why people visit an orthopedic surgeon or specialist. Musculoskeletal conditions and pain can affect you at any time or any age preventing you from working and enjoying life to its fullest. The good news is that everyone, from a child with scoliosis to someone with traumatic injuries requiring limb-saving surgery, can benefit from the expertise of an orthopedic surgeon. Orthopedic surgeons provide treatment options relating to the musculoskeletal system that help people lead happier, healthier, pain-free lives.

What Is An Orthopedic Surgeon?

Orthopedic surgery focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of diseases of the bones, ligaments, joints, muscles, tendons, and nerves. The practice of orthopedic surgery was originally dedicated to the care of children with spine and limb deformities. Orthopedics now care for patients of all ages from newborns to athletes and older people suffering from arthritis. Some orthopedic surgeons are generalists, while others specialize in certain areas of the body such as:

  • Spine
  • Hand
  • Shoulder and Elbow
  • Foot and Ankle
  • Hip and Knee

What Kinds Of Conditions Do Orthopedic Surgeons Treat?

This dynamic field has witnessed much advancement in techniques and equipment, such as microsurgery and joint replacement. Orthopedic surgeons treat diseases and conditions such as:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Dislocations and fractures
  • Torn ligaments, tendon injuries, pulled muscles
  • Ruptured discs and scoliosis
  • Surgical management of degenerative joint disease
  • Cerebral palsy, bone tumors
  • Arthritis and osteoporosis

Orthopedic surgeons treat patients of all ages from newborns to the elderly. They treat conditions that include sports injuries and joint replacement, to fractures and spinal deformity.

What Types Of Procedures Do Orthopedic Surgeons Do?

Orthopedic surgeons recommend a variety of treatments and procedures for the conditions their patients may be suffering from. They explore both non-surgical treatment and non-surgical options such as:

Non-Surgical Treatments

  • Exercise: An orthopedic surgeon may recommend exercises and stretches to strengthen, improve flexibility, and range of motion in a particular area.
  • Immobilization: Sometimes preventing additional strain on an area of concern can help it heal faster. Immobilization techniques include braces, splints, and casts.
  • Medication: An orthopedic surgeon can prescribe certain medications to reduce swelling and to relieve patients of pain from an injury.

Surgical Treatments

An injury or condition may not always improve with conservative measures. In these cases, your doctor may recommend surgical treatment options such as:

  • Joint Replacement: Joint replacement surgery involves replacing the parts of the joint that have become damaged or diseased. Common replacements include knee and hip replacements. 
  • Internal Fixation: Internal fixation involves the placement of hardware such as pins, rods, screws, and plates to help hold broken bones in place while they heal.
  • Fusion: Fusion involves using bone graft material as well as some form of internal fixation to connect two bones together. As the bone tissue heals, it fuses into one bone. 
  • Osteotomy: This type of surgery involves cutting a part of the bone and then repositioning it. This type of surgery may be used to treat arthritis. 
  • Soft Tissue Repair: This surgery is performed to repair severely damaged muscles, ligaments, and tendons. 

Orthopedic Surgery Kelowna

Okanagan Health Surgical Centre in Kelowna is a world-class private surgical facility providing advanced orthopedic surgeries including knee surgery, shoulder surgery, foot and ankle surgery, and more.  The team of private surgeons will be sure to answer any questions you may have during a complimentary consultation. To book your consultation today call us at 1-250-868-9799 or Toll-Free: 1-877-505-8895 or fill out the contact form below.


Q: Will an orthopedic surgeon suggest non-surgical treatments at first?
A: Most orthopedic surgeons will first recommend trying non-surgical methods to treat your condition. If they prove unsuccessful, they will then discuss surgical treatment options.

Q: How long does it take to become an orthopedic surgeon?
A: Orthopedic surgeons must first complete an undergraduate degree before moving on to medical school. After medical school, orthopedic surgeons are required to complete 5 years of residency resulting in a total of 13 years of schooling. 

Q: Can orthopedic surgeons help resolve arthritis pain?
A: Orthopedic surgeons have many methods of helping resolve pain from arthritis. If you suffer from arthritis, contact our Kelowna Surgical Centre by calling 1-250-868-9799  to receive a free consultation with one of our experienced orthopedic surgeons.

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