Who fixes broken bones?
If you have ever suffered a fracture or broken bone, you know how painful and scary it can be. Seeking medical help should be your top priority. The doctor you need to see for this type of injury is an orthopedic surgeon or orthopedist.
What is an orthopedic surgeon?
An orthopedic surgeon is a medical specialist who focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of musculoskeletal system problems. This includes bones, muscles, nerves, and ligaments. They may also specialize in certain areas, such as spine surgery or sports medicine.
Training and certification
Orthopedic surgeons undergo extensive training and education to become experts in their field. After completing medical school, they are required to complete a five-year residency program in orthopedic surgery. Some may also pursue fellowship training to gain expertise in a specific area.
When to see an orthopedic surgeon
If you break or fracture a bone, you should seek medical attention immediately. Depending on the severity of the injury, this may involve going to the emergency room or urgent care center. Once there, a doctor will assess your condition and determine if you need to see an orthopedic surgeon.
What to expect during your appointment
During your appointment, your orthopedic surgeon will examine your injury, perform tests, and review X-rays or other imaging studies. They may also ask you about your medical history, any medications you are taking, and your lifestyle habits. Based on this information, they will develop a treatment plan that meets your individual needs.
There are several treatment options available for broken bones, and your orthopedic surgeon will work with you to determine the best course of action. Treatment may involve immobilization with a cast, brace, or splint, or surgery to repair the bone. Depending on your injury, physical therapy may also be recommended.
After a broken bone has been treated, it’s important to follow a rehabilitation program to help restore range of motion, strength, and flexibility. This may involve working with a physical therapist to develop an exercise plan, using a support brace or cast, and attending follow-up appointments with your orthopedic surgeon.
Risk factors for bone fractures
As we age, our bones become less dense and more prone to fractures. Additionally, certain health conditions, such as osteoporosis or cancer, can weaken bones and increase the risk of a fracture. Engaging in high-risk activities, such as contact sports or extreme sports, can also increase the risk of a fracture.
While it’s not always possible to prevent broken bones, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. Eating a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, getting regular exercise, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can all help keep bones strong and healthy. Additionally, taking precautions during high-risk activities, such as wearing protective gear, can reduce the risk of injury.
Suffering from a broken bone can be a painful and distressing experience. Fortunately, orthopedic surgeons are trained to diagnose and treat these injuries, helping patients recover and return to their normal activities. By taking steps to prevent fractures and seeking prompt medical attention when an injury occurs, you can maintain strong and healthy bones throughout your life.
- Q: What other types of injuries does an orthopedic surgeon treat?
- A: Orthopedic surgeons also treat sprains, strains, and other injuries affecting the musculoskeletal system.
- Q: Do I need surgery for a broken bone?
- A: Not all broken bones require surgery. Your orthopedic surgeon will develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs.
- Q: How long does it take to recover from a broken bone?
- A: The recovery time for a broken bone varies depending on the severity of the injury and the type of treatment you receive. In general, it can take several weeks to several months to fully recover.
- Bostrom, M. P. G. (2018). Ask the doctor: When should I see an orthopedic surgeon?. Harvard Health Publishing. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/ask-the-doctor-when-should-i-see-an-orthopedic-surgeon-2018021913258
- Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Orthopedics: Questions to ask your doctor. Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/17392-orthopedics–questions-to-ask-your-doctor
- Mayo Clinic. (2021). Broken bone. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/broken-bone/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20370162