The field of medicine has become much more complex, which has forced doctors to be extremely specialized. One of the least known professions is orthopedics. Patients should understand the importance of good orthopedic care to ensure they stay healthy.
What is Orthopedics?
Orthopedics is the specialty of medicine that is concerned with the musculoskeletal system. This system is responsible for many important functions including running, jumping and swimming. Despite the importance of maintaining a strong musculoskeletal system, most people don’t give it much consideration, which inevitably leads to health complications as people age.
As a result, the need for orthopedists has risen significantly in recent years. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, there are 28,047 orthopedists on record in the United States. The number has increased significantly in the last few decades. It will probably continue to increase in the future as the population ages and society becomes more aware of the causes of bone and muscular problems.
What Types of Problems Can Orthopedists Help With?
There are a variety of reasons that orthopedists play a crucial role in improving patient health. Here are some of the most common health problems that they help address:
- Diagnosis and treatment from traumatic events such as falls and car accidents
- Repetitive sports injuries
- Degeneration of the bones
- Bone cancer
These problems are becoming more frequent over time, which is forcing Americans to seek state-of-the-art treatment options. The role of orthopedics will play an ever more important role in the medical profession.
A growing number of surveys show that patients need a more thorough education on the importance of orthopedics professionals. The study Patient Understanding of the Role of the Orthopedic Resident found that patients were particularly confused about the role that orthopedic residents played in their healthcare. General practitioners will need to make a more concerted attempt to communicate their importance to patients as orthopedics becomes more important.
Know When to Work With an Orthopedic Surgeon
Working with a skilled orthopedist is crucial to ensure the highest level of care. They will need to know when surgery may be necessary and what options are available to you. Here are some questions that you need to ask an orthopedic surgeon if you are suffering from any musculoskeletal problems:
- What does the pain indicate? Pain that interferes with your ability to live your daily life may suggest surgery is needed.
- What are the potential complications of orthopedic surgery?
- What surgery options are available to me?
- What physical therapy will I need to undergo after the surgery?
- What types of medication are generally used after a surgery is completed?
You should always receive as much information as possible before seeking any medical attention. Since orthopedics is a very complicated subspecialty of medicine, you will need to make sure that your orthopedic surgeon can clearly articulate the risks and options available to you.