What Does Orthopaedic Mean?

By Fadel Taazieh, DPT

What Does Orthopaedic Mean?

The term orthopaedic refers to the branch of medicine dealing with the treatment of bones, joints, and muscles.

Image of an orthopaedic doctor with a patient. JOI Rehab

Orthopaedic Doctor

What’s the Difference between Orthopaedic and Orthopedic?

Both “orthopaedics” and “orthopedics” are derived from orthopédie, a French term coined by 17th -century physician Nicholas Andry de Bois-Regard. The term used by Andry itself is derived from the Greek words ὀρθός (orthos), which means “correct” or “straight”, and παιδίον (paidion), which means “child”.  As the etymology implies, orthopédie – or what we know today as orthopedics – was first practiced as a way to treat childhood spinal deformities such as polio or scoliosis. Of course, modern orthopedics has grown to encompass a diverse array of treatments as well as expand its focus to include all age groups.

In short, “orthopaedics” and “orthopedics,” mean the same thing. Both of these terms refer to the branch of medicine dealing with the treatment of bones, joints, and muscles. This means, of course, that information you find regarding “orthopaedic treatments for back pain” is the same as “orthopedic treatments for back pain” and vice versa. This is also true of any of the other conditions that an orthopedist would treat, including:

– Musculoskeletal trauma
– Spine disorders
Sports injuries
– Acute injuries and congenital disorders affecting joints, bones, or muscles
– Chronic degenerative conditions

The choice between these two terms often comes down to the speaker’s dialect, stylistic choice, or simply just their personal preference. “Orthopaedics” is commonly regarded as the British and academic spelling of the term while “orthopedics” can be considered its Americanized version; however, you may see these spellings used interchangeably. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Association of Orthopaedic Medicine, American Medical Academy, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, and other American orthopaedic organizations all use the “ae” spelling. It is difficult to find a professional medical organization that doesn’t use the “ae” version.


What Do You See an Orthopaedic Doctor For?

 Orthopaedic doctors can treat injuries and may be able to help prevent injuries. Broken bones, compression fractures, stress fractures, dislocations, muscle injury, and tendon tears or ruptures are common reasons people visit orthopedic doctors.


Can I Go Straight to an Orthopaedic Doctor?

Depending on your specific injury or health issue, however, going directly to a specialist—like an orthopaedic physician—can save you time and money.  Many insurance plans require patients to see their primary care doctor first.  It is important to check with your insurance carrier on the specific requirements of your plan.


What Happens at First Visit to an Orthopedic Surgeon?

When you meet with an orthopaedic surgeon for the first time, it is helpful to know what to expect during the orthopedic evaluation. Your first orthopedic appointment will most likely include a comprehensive medical history evaluation, diagnostic imaging (X-rays and/or MRI), and physical tests.

orthopaedic surgeon looking at x-rays

Orthopaedic Surgeon or Orthopedic Surgeon means the same thing

What are the Top 10 Most Common Orthopaedic Surgeries?

  1. ACL Reconstruction Surgery

ACL stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament, and it’s one of the major ligaments in your knee. It’s located diagonally in the front of your knees, and it provides stability when you rotate your legs.

During surgery, the surgeon will take a portion of a tendon from another part of your body and use it as a graft to replace the torn ACL. Patients can usually go home the same day of the surgery and follow the RICE home remedy method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

If you’re an athlete, be patient, since it can take up to a year before you’re able to get back to playing the sports you love.

  1. Knee Replacement Surgery

Depending on the severity of the injury, a patient may need either a partial or total knee replacement surgery. Both are due to cartilage damage to the knee joints, which makes movement restricted and painful. This could be a result of trauma, bursitis due to repetitive movements, or obesity.

When a person undergoes a total knee replacement, the entire damaged knee joint is removed and replaced with metal components. During partial knee replacement, only the damaged portion of the knee will be replaced.

  1. Shoulder Replacement Surgery

In shoulder replacement surgery, the surgeon removes the top portion of the humerus (upper arm bone) and replaces it with a metal ball. Then the doctor removes the damaged portion of the socket and replaces it with a plastic prosthesis. The rotator cuff (the tendons and ligaments in the shoulder) would then hold everything in place.

If the rotator cuff is also injured, the surgeon would perform a Reverse Shoulder Replacement: The metal ball is placed in the socket and the plastic prosthesis is placed on top of the humerus, held in place by screws and plates.

  1. Hip Replacement Surgery

The thigh bone (femur) is connected to the hip bones (pelvis) by a ball-and-socket joint. The top portion of the femur is called the femoral head, and it’s the “ball” portion. The “socket” portion in the pelvis is called the acetabulum. When a person’s hips are healthy, everything fits together nicely, with cartilage making the joint move smoothly.

There are two different types of hip replacement surgery: Under the traditional approach, the entire ball and socket joint is replaced with either a metal or plastic prosthesis; while during the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing approach, only the damaged portions are replaced, making the surgery less invasive requiring less recovery time.

  1. Knee Arthroscopy

Arthroscopic surgery is minimally invasive. The surgeon makes a small incision and inserts a tiny camera attached to their instruments, allowing them to see what’s going on inside your knee joint. The images are projected on a screen, and your doctor uses the small instruments to correct the problem.

  1. Shoulder Arthroscopy

This type of surgery uses the same method described above for knee surgery, except that it’s done performed on your shoulder. The surgeon may need to make additional small incisions to repair the damaged portions of the joint.

JOI Treats Should Pain

Shoulder pain and injury to shoulders

  1. Ankle Repair

Ankle repair surgery is necessary if the joint is unstable after a fracture. This means that the bones are not aligned properly. During surgery, the bones are repositioned to their appropriate position and held together with implants.

After surgery, the patient will be required to wear a cast or a boot for several weeks. Once the ankle bones have healed, the patient will be allowed to place weight on the foot and engage in rehabilitation exercises to regain full range of motion.

  1. Spinal Surgeries

There are many different types of back surgeries: Spinal Fusion, Diskectomy, Kyphoplasty, and Laminectomy, are among several others. They’re all critical since the spine provides central support to the entire skeletal system. Fortunately, there are ways to perform many of these procedures with minimal invasion. Read this article if you want to learn more about robotic spinal surgery at JOI.

  1. Joint Fusion

This type of surgery is common among arthritis patients. The damaged cartilage is removed during surgery and replaced with a graft. The bones making up the joint are then welded together to provide joint stability. It can be done in your spine, fingers, ankles, and feet.

  1. Trigger Finger Release

Fingers have tendons that go from their base to the fingertips. These tendons allow people to move and bend their fingers and are covered by a protective sheath. If this sheath is injured, it becomes inflamed. This prevents the patient from being able to fully extend his or her finger. This is known as “trigger finger” or stenosing tenosynovitis. There are three types of surgery to correct trigger finger, and they all require only local anesthesia. The patient is also likely to be able to return home that same day.

JOI and JOI Rehab

JOI Physicians continue to offer online new patient appointments. This is another option to make it more convenient to make new patient appointments with less phone hold times. Follow the link below to select your JOI MD and schedule online.

You can still call 904-JOI-2000 to make new patient JOI Physician Appointments if that is your preference.

To make appointments with JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045.

By: Fadel Taazieh, DPT

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