An orthopedic surgeon, or orthopaedic surgeon, is a surgeon who has been educated and trained in the diagnosis and preoperative, operative, and postoperative treatment of diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system. Conditions include the following: arthritis, bone tumors, cerebral palsy, club foot, knock knees, bow legs, bunions, hammertoe, muscle, ligament, tendon damage and many more conditions.
The use of arthroscopic techniques has been particularly important for injured patients. Arthroscopy helped patients recover from the surgery in a matter of days, rather than the weeks to months required by conventional, 'open' surgery. It is a very popular technique. Knee arthroscopy is one of the most common operations performed by orthopedic surgeons today and is often combined with meniscectomy or chondroplasty. The majority of orthopedic procedures are now performed arthroscopically.
Arthroplasty is an orthopedic surgery where the articular surface of a musculoskeletal joint is replaced, remodeled, or realigned by osteotomy or some other procedure. It is an elective procedure that is done to relieve pain and restore function to the joint after damage by arthritis (rheumasurgery) or some other type of trauma. As well as the standard total knee replacement surgery, the uni-compartmental knee replacement, in which only one weight-bearing surface of an arthritic knee is replaced, is a popular alternative. Joint replacements are available for other joints on a limited basis, most notably the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, ankle, spine, and finger joints. In recent years, surface replacement of joints, in particular the hip joint, have become more popular amongst younger and more active patients.