What is Orthopedics?
First and foremost, let’s understand what we mean when we talk about “orthopedics.” Orthopedics is a specialty within medicine that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, correction, and treatment of patients with skeletal deformities (part of the musculoskeletal system). Examples are disorders of the bones, joints, skin, muscles, tendons, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. Together, the elements of the musculoskeletal system are what allow humans to be active: walk, run, sit, stand, dance, etc. An orthopedic surgeon in Thailand cares for everyone, from children with clubfeet to teens requiring arthroscopic surgery and the elderly with arthritis. Physicians who specialize in this area of medicine are called orthopedic surgeons or orthopedists.
Role of the Orthopedist
As mentioned above, an orthopedic surgeon is a medical doctor with extensive training in the proper diagnosis and treatment of injuries and diseases related to the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedists use medical, physical, rehabilitative, and surgery methods in the treatment and care of all problems associated with the musculoskeletal system.
Orthopedics is an incredibly broad medical specialty, covering an immense array of diseases and conditions, including, but not limited to, the following:
- slipped disk
- bone tumors
- low back pain
- torn ligaments
- growth abnormalities
- scoliosis knock knees
- arthritis and osteoporosis
- fractures and dislocations
- bunions and hammertoes
- total knee or hip replacement
- broken bones or dislocated joints
- joint inflammation and rheumatoid
- sprains and strains tendon injuries
- congenital club foot and/or flat-foot
- muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy
- pulled muscles and ruptured disks
- abnormalities of the fingers and toes
- microsurgery for knee or shoulder joint pain
- compression fracture in the vertebrae (osteoporosis)
In general, orthopedists are extremely skilled in the diagnosis of an injury or disorder; treatment with medication, exercise, surgery or other treatment plans; rehabilitation to restore movement, strength, and function via exercises or physical therapy; and the dissemination of information to prevent future injury or slow the progression of diseases.
Orthopedic Medical Treatments
Most visits to an international hospital in Thailand will start with a personal interview and physical examination with a physician. This is usually followed by a round of crucial diagnostic tests: blood, X-rays, and movement.
Your treatment may involve counseling, medications, splints, casts, exercises, and, in some cases, surgery. For most orthopedic cases, there is more than one course of treatment available; your orthopedic surgeon in Thailand will discuss all possible treatment options with you and help you select the best one for your particular situation.
For example, the Orthopedics Center at Vejthani Hospital in Bangkok offers a complete range of diagnostic, treatment, and orthopedic surgical services at their JCI (Joint Commission International) accredited facility. Their team of highly trained doctors, nurses, health aides, and other hospital staff can assist with a range of orthopedic problems, from fractures and dislocations caused by accidents or sports to rheumatoid arthritis, bad backs, limb deformity, herniated discs, and office syndrome.
The good news is that typically only 50% of orthopedic cases require surgical management; the rest can be handled with less invasive procedures. However, surgery may be needed to restore function lost as a result of injury or disease of bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, or skin.