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Defining Terms: orthopedic medicine, orthopedics, orthopaedics

Blog by Vancouver Orthotics, Hycroft Medical Building (114-3195 Granville St @ 16th Ave) | August 27th, 2008

Hello and thank you for visiting the blog space of Vancouver Custom Orthotics.

Today I wanted to define a couple of commonly used terms in the industry. Orthopedic medicine is the branch of medicine that deals with the prevention or correction of injuries or disorders of the skeletal system and associated muscles, joints, and ligaments. Orthopedics is a medical specialty concerned with the skeleton and its associated structures. Orthopaedic specialists treat fractures, strained muscles, torn ligaments and tendons, and other injuries and deal with acquired and congenital skeletal deformities and the effects of degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis. Originally dependent on heavy braces and splints, orthopedics now uses bone grafts, hip and other joint replacements, prostheses (see prosthesis), special footwear (orthotics, orthopaedic inserts), and braces to enhance mobility or alignment. Orthopedics uses the techniques of physical medicine and rehabilitation and occupational therapy in addition to those of traditional medicine and surgery.

Speciafically realted to the feet - orthopedic inserts, called orthotic  or orthotic shoes, are often recommended to support and correct mis-alignments of the foot causing biomechanical strain in the joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons in the kinetic chain.

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