What are Orthopedic Doctors?

The primary focus of Westlake orthopedics, including physicians and surgeons as well as other medical professionals, is the musculoskeletal system – that is, the tissues that generally give the body its shapes and holds everything together, as well as allows for external function. That means that they may treat broken bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles wherever in the body these components can be found.


There are many subspecialties within the profession, such as hand surgery, or foot and ankle specialists, that can be pursued by those who are interested in Westlake orthopedics as a career beyond the five years of basic residency. The most common specialties in Westlake orthopedics include spine surgeons, hand surgeons, physicians who specialize in sports medicine, and those who are specialists in joint replacement.


Hand surgeons can use miniscule instruments in order to finesse the complexities of doing procedures such as the reattachment of severed fingers. This is the highlight. Most of their professional life is a bit more mundane since severed fingers are not all that common of a malady.  A hand surgeon is a specialist in Westlake orthopedics who is more likely to treat someone for arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome than someone whose detached fingers are on ice.


Spine surgeons usually focus on bone disease, and while they may perform some surgeries such as spinal fusion for irregularities in the vertebrae, they also are involved in seeking ways to remedy issues surrounding neck and back pain that result from protrusions or maladjustments that are outgrowths from spinal abnormalities.


Surgeons who focus on sports medicine concentrate their efforts on sports injuries that usually involve the musculoskeletal system. They are experts on the repair of cartilage and ligament, as well as arthroscopic shoulder surgery. They also may work in conjunction with physical therapists after surgery to provide preventive measures for specific injuries.


Total joint replacement surgeons can replace hips and knees using techniques that have developed to be only somewhat invasive due to the technology of arthroscopy. Total joint replacement surgeries can manipulate tiny instruments through small incisions in the flesh to perform surgery while looking at a screen, a technique that is both innovative and requires a totally non-intuitive skill set.


Orthopedic specialists also often include dieticians and nutritionists, physical therapists who can either help those who suffer injury to recover without needed surgery, or help others post-surgery to recover from that. Various nurses and diagnostic technicians are also often part of an orthopedic practice. Together, they are an orthopedic team of physicians and surgeons and other medical professionals.

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