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What is orthopedics?

The term orthopedics is derived from the Greek ORTHO which means upright, straight, or correct and PAIS which means child. Though initially limited to the diagnosis of children, this branch of medicine now focuses on a set of diseases and conditions affecting children and adults.

Orthopedics is a specialty that deals with diseases or conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedics mainly involves bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, spinal column, and the vertebral column.

What are the conditions covered under orthopedics?

Orthopedics covers a range of diseases and conditions as listed below.

  • Poor alignment of bones
  • Traumatic events
  • Developmental conditions that may occur before birth
  • Certain deformities of the spine causing it to bend awkwardly
  • Degenerative conditions due to wear and tear of joints and advancing age
  • Certain metabolic conditions that cause bones to become weak
  • Bone tumors
  • Certain bone disorders affecting the nerves and muscles

Symptoms and Seeking Medical Care

What are the common symptoms of orthopedic conditions?

Depending on the orthopedic condition and which body part is affected, symptoms will vary. Some common symptoms associated with orthopedic conditions are listed below. If you experience any of these difficulties, it is time to consult an orthopedist or a doctor specialized in this branch of medicine.

  • Joint deformities
  • Joint pain or swelling
  • Stiffness of joints leading to decreased mobility
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Swelling and weakness of the affected area
  • Redness with warmth at the affected site, in case of infections
  • Deformities of affected areas

When should you consult an orthopedic doctor?

Sometimes, you may have difficulty moving your joints. You may hear a popping, snapping, or grinding sound at the time of injury. You may also experience severe pain or swelling of the affected area. In any of these situations, do not be alarmed. Seek urgent medical assistance from an orthopedist who will guide you to the best treatment options.

You can search for orthopedic doctors near me or orthopedic hospitals near me. You can also:

Request an appointment at Apollo Spectra Hospitals

Call 18605002244 to book an appointment

Causes and Diagnosis

What causes orthopedic conditions?

Orthopedic conditions may have several causes. These include:

  • Overuse of joints
  • Acute trauma that may occur in accidents or injuries
  • Chronic trauma to joints that may occur over many years
  • Wear and tear of joints due to old age or repetitive activities

How are orthopedic conditions diagnosed?

To diagnose orthopedic conditions, your orthopedic will perform a variety of tests, such as:

Treatment Options

How are orthopedic conditions treated?

The treatment of orthopedic conditions will vary according to the affected area and problems. Your orthopedist will help you determine the right course of action. An orthopedic treatment aims to relieve symptoms, rectify physical issues, improve the quality of life and prevent complications. A technique used by orthopedists to relieve symptoms is RICE:

  • Imaging tests like X-ray, MRI and CT scans, bone scans, arthrography, and discography to find out the location and intensity of the conditions
  • Stress tests, flexibility tests, muscles testing, and gait analysis to find out the range of motion
  • A biopsy is a procedure involving the removal of tissue samples for analysis like muscle or bone marrow biopsy
    • Rest
    • Ice
    • Compression
    • Elevation
  • In addition, doctors may prescribe medications, physical therapy, and joint injections. Apart from this, doctors sometimes recommend orthopedic surgery to relieve symptoms.


Orthopedic conditions are varied. Depending on the symptoms, your orthopedist will recommend various treatment plans. With accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment, you can avoid complications.

What are the risk factors for orthopedic conditions?

Aging, obesity, smoking, improper body mechanics, and chronic diseases like diabetes are some risk factors associated with orthopedic conditions.

What are the complications of orthopedic conditions?

Disability and chronic conditions due to improper or delayed treatment are some complications associated with orthopedic conditions. Other complications of orthopedic surgery like infection, bleeding, nerve injury, and deep vein thrombosis (clotting of blood in deep veins) can also occur.

How can I strengthen my Bones and Joints?

By performing strength training exercises to strengthen bones, performing stretching exercises, maintaining an optimal weight ,and stopping smoking can help strengthen bones and joints.

Should I use Heat or Ice on my Injuries?

It is advised to use ice within the first 24-48 hours of the injury. Ice should be applied indirectly (not directly in contact with the skin). Ice is also used to reduce swelling as it decreases the blood flowing to the injured area. Heat, which increases blood flow, is used to relieve pain after the swelling reduces.

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