Orthopedic (sometimes spelled orthopaedic) surgery is surgery performed by a medical specialist, such as an orthopedist or orthopedic surgeon, trained to deal with problems that develop in the bones, joints, and ligaments of the human body.
Orthopedic surgery corrects problems that arise in the skeleton and its attachments, the ligaments and tendons. It may also deal with some problems of the nervous system, such as those that arise from injury of the spine. These problems can occur at birth, through injury, or as the result of aging. They may be acute, as in injury, or chronic, as in many aging-related problems.
Orthopedics comes from two Greek words, ortho, meaning straight and pais, meaning child. Originally orthopedic surgeons dealt with bone deformities in children, using braces to straighten the child's bones. With the development of anesthesia and an understanding of the importance of aseptic technique in surgery, orthopedic surgeons extended their role to include surgery involving the bones and related nerves and connective tissue.
The terms orthopedic surgeon and orthopedist are used interchangeably today to indicate a medical doctor with special certification in orthopedics.Many orthopedic surgeons maintain a general practice, while some specialize in one particular aspect of orthopedics, such as hand surgery, joint replacements, or disorders of the spine. Orthopedics treats both acute and chronic disorders.
Orthopedics: the medical specialty concerned with the preservation, restoration, and development of form and function of the musculoskeletal system, extremities, spine, and associated structures by medical, surgical and physical methods. The goal of orthopedics is the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases or abnormalities related to the body’s muscles, skeleton or related tissues. Orthopedics would relate the term to the foot because in Latin pedis means foot. What was meant by the term orthopaedics when it was devised goes back to its roots: ortho-, straight + the Greek paes, child = the practice, literally, of straightening the child.
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