Definition and Overview
Orthopedic surgery is a surgical procedure performed by an experienced orthopedic or orthopedic surgeon to treat musculoskeletal problems affecting bones, joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments caused by accidents, trauma , injuries, or other chronic conditions. Orthopedic surgery can also correct problems with the nervous system connected to the spine, congenital abnormalities, and musculoskeletal problems caused by aging.
Who should undergo orthopedic surgery and the expected results
Patients are usually referred by general practitioners to orthopedic specialists for treatment of accidents or injuries such as spinal or limb damage, fractures, chronic arthritis , and many more. An orthopedic specialist can treat very young patients, usually with congenital disorders such as scoliosis (curvature of the spine) or deformities of the soles of the feet, a young athlete who requires arthroscopic surgery (knee surgery), to elderly patients related to the problem. movement. Usually anyone who has problems with bones, muscles, and connective tissue can seek an orthopedic doctor to relieve symptoms and appropriate treatment.
Orthopedic doctors perform three main tasks, namely:
Diagnose disorders and injuries through a physical examination as well as several tests such as X-rays, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging or display), ultrasound, and blood tests
Treating injuries through medication and/or surgery (performed by an orthopedic surgeon)
Recommend physiotherapy or regular exercise to maximize and restore strength, movement, and function of the treated area
Common actions in orthopedic surgery
There are different types of orthopedic surgery performed by surgeons every day. Some of the most common are as follows:
Arthroscopy – An advanced minimally invasive technique for diagnosing and repairing damaged joint tissue using a probe, thin tube and small equipment.
Fracture repair – A surgical procedure performed to treat fractures in the ankles, feet, hips, ribs, arms, collarbones (almost any bone); involves making incisions through the repaired or restored bone, usually by means of screws or splints.
Arthroplasty (Replacement/Joint mobilization) – various surgical techniques for the replacement of entire joints such as the hip or knee, as in chronic cases of arthritis; This technique involves replacing the diseased joint with a prosthetic rubber material to restore motion to the joint.
Repair of damaged tissue – a surgical procedure in which a torn ligament or tendon is restored by means of a graft taken from another place in the body.
Corrective surgery – Various actions taken to correct malformations and damage to certain body parts or the spine to improve and optimize movement; Common procedures include joint surgery (joining two parts together to form one bone) and osteotomy (cutting and repositioning the bones).
How does the procedure work?
As previously described, orthopedic surgeons provide a variety of treatment options. However, before the treatment is decided, the patient will undergo several thorough tests to determine the cause of the bone or muscle problem they are experiencing. The orthopedist will ask you about your history of the disorder, previous treatments, and other information related to your condition. You will be asked to undergo several tests such as an X-ray , CET scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), blood test or myelogram (x-ray of the spine) to explain the extent of the problem in detail.
Depending on the results of the diagnosis, you may be advised to take medication, undergo surgery, undergo restorative or alternative therapy, or a combination of these treatment methods. Surgery is usually done as a last resort if your disease does not respond to non-surgical treatment. If surgery is considered the best option, pre-surgical measures such as routine examinations will be carried out before surgery is performed.
All orthopedic surgeries, including the general surgeries mentioned above, are performed under local or general anesthesia. For major surgery such as knee replacement, the patient may be asked to donate some of his blood (or prepare) if a transfusion is needed during surgery.
What to expect after orthopedic surgery
After the procedure, a cast or strap will be applied to protect the repaired area. The amount of time needed for recovery depends on the procedure performed, however, patients are usually able to return home within a few days. However, it can take several weeks for the bones and ligaments to fully heal. Thus, you will be advised not to force the injured area to do heavy work before the area has fully healed. The practical principle for bone injuries, for example, is that the time it takes to get stronger is usually the same as the time for a fractured bone to completely heal. This means that if you have been in a cast for four weeks, you will need another four weeks to fully recover.
In addition to time for complete healing, orthopedic surgery also requires rehabilitation to restore movement and function in all affected parts. Thus, the orthopedic surgeon will work closely with physical therapists and occupational therapists who assist patients in increasing the patient’s range of motion and returning to daily activities. The length of time required and the frequency of rehabilitation will depend on the surgery performed and the severity of the patient’s condition. Hip replacement surgery, for example, requires at least six months of rehabilitation.
Most patients undergoing orthopedic surgery will fully recover from their injury. However, the success rate depends on the person’s general health, age, health problems, and the patient’s desire to adhere to postoperative therapy.
Complications and risks that may occur
Like any surgical procedure, orthopedic surgery also carries a certain level of risk. Of the various forms of complications that rarely occur include: adverse reactions or allergies, excessive bleeding, blood clots after surgery, and infections. Inflammation of the site where the prosthetic material, grafts, screws, and other foreign materials are in the body can also occur. In surgery involving the spine, there is a risk of damage to the nervous system. However, death during orthopedic surgery is extremely rare. Despite these risks, until now there is no other alternative that can provide the treatment offered by orthopedic surgery in alleviating musculoskeletal conditions.