Orthopaedics is a medical specialty that focuses on the diagnosis, care, and treatment of patients with disorders of the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and skin. These elements make up the musculoskeletal system. The physicians who specialize in this area are called orthopaedic surgeons.
Orthopaedic surgeons are involved in all aspects of heath care pertaining to the musculoskeletal system. They use medical, physical, and rehabilitative methods as well as surgery.
Typically, as much as 50 percent of the orthopaedic surgeon’s practice is devoted to no surgical or medical management of injuries or disease and 50 percent to surgical management. Surgery may be needed to restore function lost as a result of injury or disease of bones, joint, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, or skin.
The orthopaedic surgeon also works closely with other health care professionals and often serves as a consultant to other physicians. Orthopaedic surgeons play an important role in the organization and delivery of emergency care. They are members of the teams that manage complex, multi-system trauma.