Orthopedic Surgeon Overview

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.

Orthopedic surgeons work closely with other health care providers and often serve as consultants to other physicians. Orthopedic surgeons often are involved in education (e.g., medical school professors) or research. They may practice in an orthopedic or multi-specialty group, or in a solo practice.

Orthopedic surgeons treat a number of conditions that affect the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. These conditions include the following:

Physicians entering the field of orthopedic surgery may choose to practice general orthopedic surgery, or can specialize in one of the following areas:

  • Arthroscopy
  • Foot and Ankle
  • Hand
  • Joint Replacement
  • Musculoskeletal Oncology
  • Pediatric
  • Rehabilitation
  • Reconstructive Surgery
  • Shoulder and Elbows
  • Spine
  • Sports Medicine
  • Trauma and Fractures

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 May 2007

Last Modified: 23 Dec 2011