orthopedic surgery

All About Orthopedic Surgery

When a doctor tells a patient they’ll need to see an orthopedic surgeon, the average patient is likely to react with shock and fear. “Orthopedic surgery” conjures up images of painful surgeries and lengthy recoveries.

It’s true that orthopedic surgery isn’t done lightly. But it’s an essential part of treatment for many accident victims, and it helps them make a full recovery from their injuries. Read on to learn more about orthopedic surgery, and how it makes a difference in the lives of so many patients.

What Is Orthopedic Surgery?

Orthopedic surgery, or orthopedics, is surgery that deals with the body’s musculoskeletal system. In other words, it adjusts the supportive structures of the human body.

Many common and routine procedures are orthopedic surgeries, including:

  • knee surgery
  • carpal tunnel release
  • hip replacement
  • spinal fusion
  • shoulder decompression

However, many orthopedic surgeries mend acute trauma that the body’s experienced. These are the kinds of orthopedic surgeries that patients are most likely to undergo, after an accident.

Examinations and Referrals

During an accident, victims can experience any number of injuries that can fracture, break, or even crush bones. All of these types of injuries can require orthopedic surgery, either to help the bone heal well in the first place, or to repair a bone that’s healed poorly.

After any accident, it’s important to get a full examination from a medical professional as soon as possible. Many accident victims may receive an initial examination from paramedics or other emergency responders immediately after their accident, but this cursory battery of tests isn’t enough to detect major underlying problems.

If a doctor suspects a broken bone, they may request an X-ray or a comparable imaging test to learn the extent of the damage. With that information, they’ll be able to determine the proper course of treatment.

The Surgery Process

When a patient’s referred to an orthopedic surgeon, they’ll review any existing records the patient’s signed over, and may also conduct additional tests to get more information about their situation. If surgery’s necessary, they’ll schedule a date with the patient and tell them how to prepare for the operation.

Because orthopedic surgery is a broad descriptor that covers a wide range of operations, it’s difficult to give general advice. Some surgeries are comparatively simple, whereas others are more complex, take more time, and require a longer period of recovery. When a patient schedules surgery, questions to ask include:

  • Will I be under total or partial anesthesia for the surgery?
  • Is the surgery inpatient, or outpatient? (Will I be sent home shortly after the surgery, or will I have to stay in the hospital overnight or for several days?)
  • How long will the surgery take?
  • How long will it take me to recover completely from the surgery?
  • When can I start to return to my normal activities?
  • Are there any potential complications I should be aware of? What should I do if these arise?

Although the recovery process can be painful, it’s far preferable to forgoing the surgery entirely. Orthopedic surgery makes sure all muscles, tendons, and bones are optimally aligned. It ensures healthy healing, full range of motion, and minimal pain for years to come.

Orthopedic surgery is an intimidating prospect to many accident victims. But in many situations, it’s the best way to ensure a full recovery. By receiving a prompt medical assessment through Regional Medical Group, patients know if orthopedic surgery is the best route, and can receive the skilled, compassionate medical care they need to get back on their feet.