Orthopedic surgery is performed on the musculoskeletal system. This includes bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, nerves and connective tissue that binds parts of the body together. Orthopedic surgeries fall into two overall categories: surgeries to repair and reconstruct musculoskeletal elements, and surgeries to replace parts of that system, most notably joints.
A musculoskeletal problem in any part of the body can have an enormous impact on a person’s day-to-day activities. A common treatment for many orthopedic injuries and conditions is the repair or reconstruction of the injured body part with surgery.
Once a patient’s condition or injury has been diagnosed, an orthopedic specialist will discuss all treatment options. Depending on the severity of the condition and the patient’s individual situation, these can include medicine, rehabilitation, nonsurgical injections and procedures, immobilization, and surgery.
Orthopedic surgeries can address and correct problems that occur at birth, through injury or as a result of aging. Depending on the type of surgery, it may be performed under general or local anesthetics.