Sports injuries, musculoskeletal conditions and back and knee pain are just a few of the many conditions that affect people of all ages, all over the world, conditions that can lead to pain, swelling, stiffness and deformities if left untreated.

Who are orthopaedic surgeons?

Orthopaedic surgeons specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders, injuries and diseases of the body’s musculoskeletal system, which includes nerves, joints, tendons, bones, ligaments and muscles. Many surgeons might also choose to specialise in very specific areas such as trauma, sports medicine or paediatrics.  

Orthopaedic training

The average orthopaedic surgeon has completed 14 years of training and formal education that includes university, medical school, residency at a medical centre and any speciality training.  

Orthopaedic surgeons will also only be board certified once they’ve completed the orthopaedic training program, which includes a peer-review process as well as an oral and written examination.

Who qualifies as an orthopaedic patient?

Dr Sunner is an orthopedic surgeon at Western Orthopaedics in Sydney whotreats children and adults of all ages who suffer from a range of conditions that affect their joints, muscles and bones.

Like Dr Sunner, most orthopaedic surgeons will treat a variety of different patients or they may choose to specialise in a particular age group, condition or area of the body.

What conditions do orthopaedic surgeons treat?

Before your orthopaedic surgeon will recommend surgery, alternatives such as medication, exercise and other therapies will be considered.

Here are just a few of the conditions that orthopaedic surgeons will generally treat:

  • Fractures and dislocations
  • Abnormalities of the fingers and toes
  • Growth abnormalities
  • Bone tumours and muscular dystrophy
  • Clubfoot, knock knees and bow legs
  • Back pain, sciatica and scoliosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sports injuries
  • Torn ligaments and sprains
  • Tendon injuries and torn cartilage

Types of orthopaedic surgeries

Below are a few of the most common orthopaedic surgeries:

  • Internal fixation: – Broken bones are held in place with metal plates, pins or screws while the bone is healing.
  • Arthroscopy: – Cameras and equipment is used to visualise, diagnose and treat joint problems.
  • Soft tissue repair: The repairing of torn tendons or ligaments.
  • Fusion: Bones are fused together using bone grafts and devices such as metal rods to form a solid bone.
  • Osteotomy: – Cutting and repositioning a deformed bone.
  • Joint replacement:Prosthesisis used to replace an arthritic or damaged joint.

What to expect during your consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon?

When consulting with an orthopaedic surgeon for the first time, you can expect to be asked a number of questions, will receive a physical examination and may be asked to produce previous test results. Further blood tests and x-rays may also be required. Once a diagnosis has been made, your surgeon will discuss your various treatment options with you so that you can make an informed decision.