Orthopedic surgeons are medical professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the full range of disorders, conditions, and injuries affecting the musculoskeletal system (bony and soft-tissue structures of the body). Among many other specific musculoskeletal issues, orthopedic surgeons treat:
- Sports injuries- groin pulls, concussions, fractures, ACL and meniscus tears, plantar fasciitis, etc.
- Joint conditions- osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, etc.
- Nerve impingement syndromes- carpal tunnel syndrome, etc.
- Congenital and acquired disorders- Club foot, bow legs, scoliosis, etc.
To address musculoskeletal problems, orthopedic surgeons typically start with nonsurgical treatment modalities. However, in cases when symptoms are unresponsive and have greatly affected the patient’s quality of life, orthopedic surgeons will recommend surgery after a thorough evaluation of the patient’s eligibility.
Some of the most common types of surgeries orthopedic surgeons perform include:
Fracture repair techniques can vary depending on the type, severity, and location of a fracture. This type of orthopedic surgery employs the use of metal plates, rods, screws, and pins to hold the bone fragments in place and realign or stabilize them to ensure proper healing and optimal function restoration. Fracture repair may also be used to repair any soft-tissue damage or to remove any loose bone fragments.
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows surgeons to both diagnose and treat problems within a joint. The procedure utilizes a tiny instrument called an arthroscope (a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera), which is inserted through a small incision, to display images of the inside of the joint on a monitor. If treatment is necessary, the surgeon will make additional incisions to insert small surgical instruments and remove or repair damaged tissues.
Arthroscopy can be used to assess the level of joint damage and to treat a range of problems including repairing damaged cartilage or removing loose fragments of bone. Arthroscopy is associated with fewer surgical risks, less postoperative pain, and a shorter recovery period.
Joint Replacement Surgery
Joint replacement surgery involves replacing all or a part of a damaged joint with a prosthesis. A joint replacement is a common procedure for patients with advanced osteoarthritis. The hip, knee, and shoulder are the most commonly diseased joints requiring this type of surgery.
Corrective surgery is a procedure for addressing conditions in which the bones in the legs, knees, ankles, spine or other parts of the body grow at incorrect angles or lengths. Some of these conditions limit function, cause pain, and/or lead to long-term complications if left untreated.
Orthopedic surgeons also carry out a range of other surgeries, such as general repair procedures for repairing damaged nerves or torn muscles and tendons.
Following most types of surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will refer you to a physical, occupational, or hand therapist to facilitate your recovery.
The length of time you require rehabilitation will vary depending on the type of surgery you had, your overall physical health, and other factors.
Orthopedic Surgery in San Antonio, TX
If you’re contemplating getting surgery for your musculoskeletal problem, visit us at the Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons have performed numerous successful surgeries for a vast range of conditions and injuries, helping scores of patients in San Antonio and neighboring areas in Texas regain their normal function and live healthy lives.