Orthopedic Specialists – How To Choose The Right Treatment?
When you have annoying back pain that just would not go away or you sustain serious hand or shoulder injuries, your physician might refer you to one of many orthopedic specialists. The medical term orthopedics has originated from Greek words that literally stand for “straight child”. Back in the days, the very first orthopedic doctors dealt exclusively with musculoskeletal congenital abnormalities of young patients. Jean Andre Venel is considered one of the founders of orthopedic science who established the very first hospital treating orthopedic problems with children at the end of the 18th century. Later on orthopedic medicine developed to encompass treatments of older patients.
There are quite a few doctors who have made huge contributions to the development of orthopedics as a science that deserve mentioning in the frame of our article. Antonius Mathysen is the Dutch orthopedic specialist from the 1800’s whom we owe the invention of what we now know as a cast that helps stabilize bones after injuries. Ironically, most medical discoveries were made on battlefields when orthopedic surgeons were faced with massive and crippling injuries soldiers sustained. Gerhard Kuntscher pioneered the use of metal rods insertion into fractured bones during WWII that helped thousands of German soldiers recover from battlefield trauma. Gavriil Ilizarov, the Soviet orthopedic surgeon, was perhaps the biggest contributor to modern orthopedic science by introducing an innovative device that was used to realign and lengthen bones in 1950’s. The orthopedics medicine has made vast advances since then and allowed many patients to recover and continue living a pain free and active life.
Orthopedic specialists are physicians with extensive training to recognize, diagnose and treat a plethora of problems with musculoskeletal system, bone, joint and connective tissues with multiple underlying causes ranging from congenital abnormalities, injury and age related conditions like osteoporosis. Orthopedic doctors in the US spend a minimum of 8 years in college, the first 4 years in undergraduate school followed by 4 years of medical school. But that’s not all, all medical school graduates must undergo a minimum of 5 years of residency program consisting of general surgery training combined with specifically orthopedic surgery. In addition to this, most orthopedic specialists complete a 6 month Board certification program that makes them one of the best orthopedic surgeons and specialists in the field.
While orthopedic specialists receive a very broad medical training, most of them specialize to treat just one or a few related medical conditions like back pain or hip pain, or hand and knee injuries. Others might deal only with pediatric or geriatric patients with their age specific orthopedic problems. It is not unusual for orthopedic specialists to limit their medical interest to purely hip or knee replacement procedures or exclusively sport related foot or hand injuries.
According to recent medical statistical data some of the top medical treatments that leading orthopedic specialists perform are knee arthroscopy, carpal tunnel procedures and knee replacements. No matter if you are searching for an orthopedic doctor to help relieve back or neck pain, or perform a hip replacement surgery, finding only the best specialists in their class are an absolute must.
How to pick among the best orthopedic specialists or best hand surgeons? While that might seem like a daunting task, it always helps to ask around. Ask your friends or coworkers whether they had good or bad experience with certain orthopedic doctors in your area. You can further narrow down doctors by checking online from American Medical Association database that lists medical specialists in a certain area, check their references and patients’ reviews. Finally, schedule an appointment and meet them in person. If you have an especially complicated orthopedic condition, consider getting a second or even a third opinion to insure you are getting the best available treatment.