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HomeHealth & FitnessOrthopedics is divided into three subspecialties

Orthopedics is divided into three subspecialties

Orthopedics is the area of medicine that refers to injuries, diseases, and pain related to the musculoskeletal system. This includes the joints, bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and nerves that make up this complex system.

Medical professionals in the orthopedics field may specialize in one of many different areas. Some physicians dedicate themselves to treating specific body parts, such as knees, hands, or shoulders. Others work with a specific type of disease or injury, like arthritis or osteoporosis. Here we’ll take a look at three specialized areas within the field of orthopedics.

Broken Bones

Fortunately, bones do have a certain amount of flexibility to them. However, when we pushed too far or subjected to a traumatic impact, bones break. They can break in many different ways, including either horizontally or vertically, and in one even break or in a way that is shattered. A stable fracture is typically considered the “cleanest” break since it involves the broken pieces of bone lining up fairly evenly. Other types include open fractures, in which the broken bone pierces the skin, and a comminuted fracture, in which the bone is broken up into at least three pieces.

Medical professionals who specialize in broken bones can treat the problem using a handful of different methods. The ultimate goal is to get the pieces back into their original position and keep them secured in place while they heal. This process is called reduction. In order to treat a fracture, doctors will often immobilize the area by placing a cast on it. A cast is typically made of either plaster or fiberglass and keeps the patient from moving the affected area during the healing process. Patients with less serious cases may be able to use a brace.

Arthritis

There are more than 100 types of arthritis, so it’s not surprising that many doctors in the field of orthopedics specialize in this area. Arthritis refers to the inflammation of the joints, which can result in pain that ranges from mild to extreme. Patients may experience symptoms in targeted areas of the body, such as the hands or knees, or may have general pain throughout the body.

Arthritis is often treated non-invasively, through the use of over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Patients are encouraged to stay active as a way of combatting pain, and specific exercises strive to strengthen and stretch affected areas as well. Surgery may be necessary for the most serious cases.

Sports Injuries

Athletes push their bodies to the extreme in many ways, and this can lead to injury. The repeated use of specific muscles and tendons, for example, can cause those spots to become trouble areas that are often tender or painful.

Because the category of sports injuries includes so many types of issues, the treatment options are vast. Physical therapy is a common option, and athletes often have to perform customized exercises on a daily basis that address problem areas. Surgery is recommended for ailments like shoulder separation or a rotator cuff tear.

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