Updated: Feb 10
What Is Orthopaedic Surgery?
Orthopaedic surgery, also known as orthopedics, is a branch of surgery that focuses on, treats, and cares for conditions involving the musculoskeletal system and its interconnected parts. These parts include the following:
An orthopaedist (also spelled as orthopedist) is a doctor who specialises in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal disorders. An orthopaedist can be divided into two types:
Orthopaedic surgeons are those who perform surgical procedures.
Orthopaedic surgeons not only diagnose, treat, and prevent musculoskeletal problems but can also perform surgery.
Non-surgical orthopaedists, as opposed to orthopaedic surgeons, diagnose, treat, prevent, and rehab musculoskeletal conditions.
It includes physiatrists and physical medicine specialists, as well as rehabilitation specialists.
However, for any orthopaedic treatment, an orthopaedic surgeon frequently collaborates with a large team of healthcare professionals, which may include,
Occupational and physical therapists
Top 10 common orthopaedic surgeries
1. ACL Reconstruction Surgery
Anterior Cruciate Ligament surgery, also known as ACL surgery, is a procedure that involves the repair or reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament, which is located in the middle of the knee. An ACL is a vital soft tissue structure that connects the femur (a thigh or upper hindlimb bone that articulates at the hip and knee) to the tibia (the inner and typically larger of the two bones between the knee and the ankle).
These types of injuries, whether partial or complete, are most common among athletes. Sports medicine physicians and orthopaedic surgeons typically perform ACL reconstruction surgery, replacing the torn ligament with a tissue graft to mimic or replicate the natural ACL and it is done arthroscopically and hence it becomes a minimally invasive surgery
2. Knee Replacement Surgery
Knee replacement surgery is a surgical procedure used to resurface an arthritic or damaged knee. People with severe arthritis or knee injuries are typically considered for this surgery, in which metal and plastic parts are used to cap the ends of the knee bones and the kneecap. Surgery to replace a knee joint is also called knee arthroplasty or total knee replacement.
The knee joint is affected by various types of arthritis. For example, osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that primarily affects middle-aged and older adults, causing the breakdown of joint cartilage and adjacent knee bones. Rheumatoid arthritis causes synovial membrane inflammation, which increases synovial fluid and causes pain and stiffness in the knee joint. Traumatic arthritis develops as a result of an injury to the knee cartilage. The primary goal of knee replacement surgery is to resurface damaged knee parts and relieve pain that other methods cannot reduce.
3. Shoulder Replacement Surgery
A shoulder replacement is a surgical procedure that replaces the damaged parts of the shoulder joint with prostheses, eliminating the source of pain and dysfunction. As a result, this surgery will assist a person in relieving pain, improving strength, and increasing arm and shoulder flexibility. Osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tear arthropathy, avascular necrosis, and rheumatoid arthritis are all common reasons for shoulder replacement surgery.
4. Hip Replacement Surgery
Hip replacement surgery, also known as hip arthroplasty, is a procedure used to relieve hip pain. It uses artificial implants to replace parts of the hip joint. The hip joints are made up of a ball at the top of the femur, known as the thigh bone, and a socket in the pelvis, known as the hip bone. The surgery involves the replacement of one or both parts. The surgery's primary goal is for you to be able to resume your daily activities and have a painless range of motion or movements at the hip joint with a stable and painless hip joint.
5. Knee Arthroscopy
It is a procedure in which an orthopaedic surgeon uses a small piece of equipment called an arthroscope to investigate, evaluate and treat knee problems. A surgeon inserts a narrow tube connected to a fibre-optic video camera through a buttonhole-sized incision. A high-definition video monitor receives the view from inside your joint. It is a less invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat joint problems.
Most of the knee ligament injuries like ACL, PCL and meniscal tears are treated with this minimally invasive procedure.
6. Shoulder Arthroscopy
Arthroscopy of the shoulder is a minimally invasive procedure for diagnosing and treating shoulder disorders. Shoulder arthroscopy may be performed if a person has rotator cuff tears or a swimmer's shoulders, which is a pain caused by connective tissue rubbing on a shoulder blade. Small incisions and a few stitches are required for these procedures.
7. Ankle ligaments reconstruction or repair
Ankle ligament reconstruction or repair is a surgical procedure performed if the joint still feels unstable after a fracture. During this procedure, the ankle bones are repositioned to their proper positions and held together with implants or suture anchors. Following the procedure, the patient must wear a cast or a boot for some time until they recover. When the patient's ankle bones have healed, they can put pressure on their foot and participate in physical therapy to regain entire ankle movement.
8. Spinal surgeries
When you have frequent back pains time, and again, you may have to investigate and consider having spinal surgery. The good news is that you can recover from most of these back pains through non-surgical procedures. However, if you have severe back pain, experience abnormalities, or don’t respond to conservative treatment, it is best to have it evaluated and treated. Specialists will clarify and recommend the type of treatment or surgery based on the pain patterns, MRI REPORTS or issues you are experiencing. And it may range from minimal invasive procedures like a caudal epidural block to minimally invasive surgeries like microdiscectomy or spinal decompression and stabilisation procedures
9. Joint fusion
Joint fusion, also known as Arthrodesis, is a surgical procedure that joins two bones in a joint. Surgery is usually used to straighten the damaged joint by removing the cartilage and stabilising the bone to heal together. Earlier it used to be a procedure for pain relief, but now it is commonly done as a salvage procedure following failed knee replacement surgeries.
10. Trigger finger
A trigger finger is a condition that causes pain, firmness, and the sensation that your finger is locking or catching when you twist and straighten it. The condition is also known as "stenosing tenosynovitis." The trigger finger most commonly affects the ring and thumb but can also affect other fingers. When the thumb is involved, the condition is referred to as "trigger thumb." Surgeons usually treat the trigger finger in one of two ways. The first step is to make a small incision in the palm to free the pulley causing finger movement. The second step is inserting a needle into the affected area to disengage the pulley.
Arthroscopy vs traditional treatment
Orthopaedic surgeries can be done either traditionally or using an arthroscope. Open surgery may be required on very rare occasions. Traditional surgeries are more invasive and frequently necessitate more recovery time, whereas arthroscopic surgery is less invasive and necessitates less recovery.
When should you see a doctor?
If you have recently been injured or
If your pain is not settling down with medical management
If you need to take analgesics very regularly
If you are not able to walk long distances
If you are finding it difficult to have activities of daily living
If you have a fracture
If you feel your joint is not very stable while walking or running
If you find there is numbness in your lower limbs
If you feel you have severe and excruciating pain in one or either lower limb
It means you need to see an orthopaedic surgeon and get yourself evaluated. It is time to consult with some of the best medical specialists to help you determine the best treatment options.
Backed by a team of multiple sub-speciality orthopaedic specialists and state-of-the-art facilities, Polaris Hospital puts patients' welfare at the forefront. Recognised as one of the top-notch orthopaedic hospitals in Pune.
Faqs on Orthopaedic Surgery
1. What Are the Most Common Orthopaedic Surgeries?
One of the most frequent elective orthopaedic surgeries is total joint replacement, along with the following others:
ACL Reconstruction Surgery
Knee replacement surgery
Meniscal repair surgeries
2. What injuries require orthopaedic surgery?
Common Orthopaedic injuries that require surgery
3. How do orthopaedic surgeons fix bones?
To stabilise and repair a fracture, an orthopaedic surgeon makes an incision at the end of a long bone and inserts a rod down the inside of the bone. The fractured bone is then repositioned. Your surgeon may use metal screws, pins, rods, or plates to hold the bone. These may be temporary or permanent.
4. Which is the more painful surgery, knee or hip?
Hip replacement surgery is relatively less painful than knee replacement surgery. However, now, with multimodal pain management and the use of preemptive analgesia, pain after either procedure is well controlled, and usually, the patient can restore his routine activities within 3-4 weeks.
5. How long does it take to recover from orthopaedic surgery?
Some patients require several weeks to recover. Others may have to wait several months. A lot depends upon the procedure done for the patient and the overall condition of the patient . Depending on your overall health, the condition for which you were treated, and the type of surgery performed, you may be able to go home the same day or the day after surgery.
About The Author: Dr. Surendra Patil
Dr. Surendra Patil, MBBS, Diploma in Orthopaedics, DNB - Orthopedics Surgery, is a dynamic surgeon with skilled hands well versed in various surgical procedures in orthopedics and exceptionally well-read in his chosen expertise. He is proficient in Arthroscopic Surgeries, Adult Joint Reconstruction Surgery, Accidents & Emergencies, Joint Replacement, Healthcare Management, and Healthcare in general. He is an experienced Medical Professional with a demonstrated history of working in the hospital & healthcare industry.