Difference between Orthopaedic Surgeon and Orthopaedic Doctor

Orthopaedists or orthopaedic doctors specialize in patient diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal conditions. They usually identify and treat the problem at hand such as sports injuries and chronic joint or muscle pain. An orthopaedist can provide braces, splints, and casts as well as reset bones when needed. They also offer pre-surgery consultation and help with the development and recovery process after a medical procedure, recommending occupational or physical therapy if necessary. However, an orthopaedist only performs non-surgery treatments.

An orthopaedic surgeon, on the other hand, offers all of the same care as orthopaedists, but they also carry out surgery. While surgery is often a backup option as they seek other treatments, an orthopaedic surgeon is able to treat any musculoskeletal issues with surgical intervention, notably in the hips, knees, ankles, feet, lower legs, shoulders, hands, elbows or the spine. The surgeries they perform can help patients recover from back pain, ruptured discs, bone tumours, carpal passage, joint inflammation wounds, arthritis, to name a few.

In the event that surgery is the last resort, orthopaedic surgeons can perform few procedures including:

  • Arthroscopy
    Small cuts are made on the skin to insert a tiny camera to view the inside of the joint.
  • Fusion
    Rods or internal devices are used to fuse bones together.
  • Internal fixation
    Plates, screws or pins are used to hold broken bits of bones together.
  • Joint replacement
    An artificial joint (partial or total) replaces a damaged one.
  • Osteotomy
    Bones are cut or repositioned to fix a bone deformity.
  • Soft tissue repair
    Reparation of tendons or ligaments.

A person with chronic or intense pain that requires immediate treatment is recommended to visit an orthopaedic surgeon, while an orthopaedist is considered if they hope to avoid surgery.

The Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgery department at Regency Specialist Hospital provides a wide range of diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical orthopaedic services, including joint replacement, sports injuries and other musculoskeletal system disorders.

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