What Is Orthopedic Surgery?


Quick Answer

Orthopedic surgery may consist of joint replacement; surgery of the hand, wrist, shoulder, elbow, foot or ankle; adult reconstruction; spine surgery; or musculoskeletal tumor surgery, according to the Stanford University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Orthopedic surgery may also be necessary to heal broken bones in children and adults.

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Full Answer

The need for orthopedic surgery is determined by an orthopedic specialist and surgeon. It may involve procedures and surgeries for the rehabilitation or repair of bones, joints, nerves, ligaments, muscles and tendons, according to Mayo Clinic.

Orthopedic surgery deemed as reconstructive may include knee and hip replacements, leg lengthening, meniscus removal, rotator cuff repair, tendon repair, and amputations, according to the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center. Specific examples of orthopedic surgery include amputation, carpal tunnel injections and frozen shoulder manipulation, as well as tendolysis.

Orthopedic surgery for children is referred to as pediatric orthopaedic surgery and often addresses pediatric and adolescent sports injuries, deformities in the upper and lower extremities, spinal deformities, malignant and benign tumor removal, bone fractures and leg length discrepancies, according to Stanford University. Children diagnosed with cerebral palsy, scoliosis, kyphosis, spondylolisthesis and spinal trauma may also be treated by orthopedic surgeons and require reconstructive surgery.

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