Overview of Orthopedics / The Orthopedic Team
What is orthopedics?
The word orthopedic comes from two Greek words:
ortho meaning straight
pedia meaning children
Orthopedics is the branch of medicine concerned with diseases, injuries, and conditions of the musculoskeletal system - relating to the body's muscles and skeleton, and including the joints, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. The proper title of this medical specialty is orthopedic surgery, although orthopedics is a generally accepted term. Who treats orthopedic conditions?
Orthopedic conditions may be treated by your physician and/or other medical specialists and healthcare providers. Several physicians from different medical specialties may be involved in the treatment at the same time. This multidisciplinary team approach is particularly important in managing the symptoms of an orthopedic condition, especially as many symptoms are chronic and change in severity over time. Some of the more common medical professionals involved in the treatment of orthopedic conditions may include the following: ·
Primary Care Physician
A primary care physician is one who has specialized education and training in general internal medicine, family practice, or another first-level-of-care area. Primary care physicians are those who provide patients with any/all of the following: o
routine health care (including annual physical examinations and immunizations) o
treatment for acute medical conditions
initial care for conditions that may become more serious or chronic in nature While your primary care physician may treat and/or diagnose your disease, he/she may refer you to a specialist for more specialized treatment of certain aspects of a disease. ·
The physician who specializes in orthopedic surgery is called an orthopedic surgeon, or sometimes, simply, an orthopedist. Orthopedists are educated in the workings of the musculoskeletal system, which includes (but is not limited to)...
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