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Orthopedics

General Information

Overview

Orthopaedics is a medical speciality that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, correction and treatment of patients with skeletal deformities – disorders of the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and skin. These elements make up the musculoskeletal system.

The musculoskeletal system can be thought of as the system for our body and the mechanics that make it work. Actually, pretty much every medicinal claim to fame has some cover with orthopaedics and the musculoskeletal framework.

For the most part, the claim to fame is alluded to as an orthopaedic medical procedure, albeit numerous non-careful medications are given by orthopaedic specialists. Actually, most orthopaedic specialists invest most of their energy in treating patients outside of the working room. Most orthopaedic experts have a bustling office-based practice. Orthopedists can likewise be discovered working in the crisis room, dealing with patients in the emergency clinic wards, or even on the sidelines of a brandishing occasion.

Symptoms

  • Swelling, warmth, or redness in the joint
  • Recurring or constant joint pain or tenderness
  • Joint stiffness or difficulty in moving the joint after a period of activity or movement.
  • A crunching feeling or a bone rubbing sound in joints

Diagnosis

No single test can diagnose osteoarthritis. It is so common that symptoms or signs seemingly caused by the disease actually may be due to other medical conditions. Your doctor will ask you to describe the symptoms and examine if there any bothersome joints present. He will also review your medical history.

A number of tests may be done to achieve an accurate diagnosis, including:

  • X-rays
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Blood tests
  • A joint aspiration, that involves drawing fluid from the joint for examination

Treatment

The only type of arthritis that is caused by an infection can be cured. All other types are managed with a combination of rest, regular exercise, vitamin and mineral supplements, and medication.

Consult your doctor before using any alternative therapy. Common treatments include:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)- It relieves minor aches and pains, but doesn’t reduce swelling or inflammation
  • NSAIDs(Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) for pain with inflammation
  • Topical analgesic(a type of painkiller) products or the nutritional supplement combination of glucosamine(a sugar protein that helps your body build cartilage (the hard connective tissue located mainly on the bones near your joints) and chondroitin(a component of human connective tissues found in cartilage and bone) may help
  • Corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone or cortisone is used to reduce inflammation

Joint replacement: Your doctor may try a combination of exercise, walking aids, or medication to help strengthen your muscles surrounding the joint and to ease associated stress and pain before considering joint replacement.

In the case of hip replacement, doctors have found that surgery can be very successful in younger people as well as for those over 60 years of age. Recent studies suggest that people who elect to have surgery before advanced joint deterioration occurs tend to recover more easily and have better outcomes.

Orthopaedics facts

  • Injuries to the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, tendons, muscles, ligaments) or conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis rank number one in visits to physicians’ offices.
  • One in seven Americans has a musculoskeletal impairment.
  • The number of persons incurring musculoskeletal injuries is 28.6 million annually — accounting for more than one-half of all injuries in one year.
  • Musculoskeletal conditions and injuries account for 137.6 million visits to physicians’ offices and hospital outpatient and emergency departments every year.
  • Approximately 7.5 million musculoskeletal procedures are performed by physicians every year.
  • Arthritis is the leading chronic condition reported by the elderly.
  • Back or spine injuries are the most prevalent musculoskeletal impairments.
  • Sprains or dislocations and fractures account for almost one-half of all musculoskeletal injuries.
  • More than 15.3 million visits were made to physicians’ offices due to back problems in 1999.
  • More than 10.1 million visits were made to physicians’ offices due to knee problems in 1999. The knee is the most often treated anatomical site by orthopedic surgeons.
  • More than 5.9 million visits were made to physicians’ offices due to shoulder problems in 1999.
  • More than 5.3 million visits were made to physicians’ offices due to foot and ankle problems in 1999.
  • More than 2.4 million visits were made to physicians in office-based practices in 1999 because of carpal tunnel syndrome. Of these visits, more than one million were made to orthopedic surgeons.
  • Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates in 1997, 29,200 episodes of carpal tunnel syndrome were reported in private industry that resulted in an average of 25 days of work loss.
  • Each year, musculoskeletal injuries in the U.S. cause children to stay home from school 21 million days.
  • Currently employed workers in the U.S. lose more than 147 million days of work because of musculoskeletal injuries.

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