Ciara N. Hayes
June 7, 2012
The word "orthopaedics" was coined by Nicholas Andry. It was derived from Greek words for "correct" or "straight" ("orthos") and "child" ("paidion"), in 1741, at the age of eighty-one he published Orthopaedia: or the Art of Correcting and Preventing Deformities in Children. In the U.S. the spelling orthopedics is standard, although the majority of university and residency programs still use Andry's spelling. In other places, usage is not uniform; in Canada, both spellings are common; orthopaedics usually prevails in the rest of the Commonwealth, especially in Britain. Orthopaedics, like many specialties, has developed through a necessity. A necessity to correct deformity, restore function and alleviate pain. Orthopaedic surgeons have developed an ability to prevent major losses of bodily function and indeed they can prevent otherwise inevitable death. They seek perfection of their art, by ensuring that the patient reaches optimal condition in the shortest period of time by the safest possible method. Orthopedic surgeons are physicians who have completed additional training in orthopedic surgery after the completion of medical school. An orthopedic surgeon is a physician devoted to the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of injuries, disorders and diseases of the body’s musculoskeletal system. This system includes bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves and tendons. According to the latest Occupational Outlook Handbook (2010-2011) published by the U.S. Department of Labor, between 3-4% of all practicing physicians are orthopedic surgeons and is continuously rising. In the United States and Canada orthopedic surgeons also known as orthopedists complete a minimum of thirteen years of postsecondary education and clinical training. This training includes obtaining an undergraduate degree, a medical degree, and then completing a 5-year residency in orthopedic surgery. Many orthopedic surgeons elect to do further subspecialty training in programs known as 'fellowships' after completing their residency training. These fellowships typically last 1-2 years and usually have a research component involved with the clinical and operative training. While orthopaedic surgeons are familiar with all aspects of the musculoskeletal system, many orthopedists specialize in certain areas, such as the foot and ankle, hand, shoulder and elbow, spine, hip or knee. Orthopaedic surgeons may also choose to focus on specific fields like pediatrics, trauma, reconstructive surgery, oncology (bone tumors) or sports medicine. Orthopaedic surgeons address most musculoskeletal aliments including arthritis, trauma and congenital deformities using both surgical and non-surgical means. Some of the more common procedures performed by orthopaedic surgeons are knee arthroscopy and menisectomy, carpal tunnel release, knee replacement, hip replacement, repair of rotator cuff tendon, repair fracture of radius and/or ulna, knee arthroscopy, and anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, plus many more.
Mummified bodies, wall paintings and hieroglyphics, have shown us that the people of the Egyptian age suffered from the same problems that we suffer today. They also show us some of the orthopaedic practices of that time. Splints have been found on mummies and they were made of bamboo, reeds, wood or bark, padded with linen. There is also evidence of the use of crutches, with the earliest known record of the use of a crutch coming from a carving made in 2830 BC on the entrance of a portal on Hirkouf's tomb. It was not until the l2th century that Europe began to awake gradually from its Dark Ages. Universities and hospitals were beginning to be established, human dissection continued and the great Greek texts were being translated from Arabic to Latin. However, until the l6th century, all developments remained within the shadow cast by Hippocrates. At this point...