Orthopedists specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of injuries to and diseases of the musculoskeletal system - the network of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves that gives the body its shape and allows us to move.
Many of the problems orthopedists treat involve the joints, places in the body where two or more bones meet. Humans have three different kinds of joints: fibrous (in the skull), cartilaginous (in the spine) and synovial (the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hands, hips, knees, ankles and feet). This last type is what we usually refer to when we say "joint." Ligaments connect bones to each other, and tendons connect muscles and bones.
These parts of our bodies can be damaged from a traumatic injury, disease, congenital disorder or the natural aging process. Commonly treated conditions include arthritis, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, bone fractures, sprains and strains, knee and shoulder problems, tendon and ligament tears, osteoporosis, sports injuries, and pediatric conditions such as club foot. Patients may be infants, adolescents, middle-aged or elderly.
The introduction of minimally invasive techniques has meant that many patients can be examined and treated through tiny incisions, minimizing the trauma of "open" surgery and allowing them to enjoy a faster recovery and return to regular activities.
Children with orthopedic conditions require special care that takes into consideration their bones, joints and muscles for effective treatment that does not affect the growth and development process. Our doctors are specially trained in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of pediatric orthopedic conditions, and work together with parents and children to ensure happy and healthy development for all patients.
There are a variety of orthopedic conditions that specifically impact children and teens, including congenital abnormalities, childhood disease, broken bones, playground accidents, sports injuries and aches and pains associated with the growth spurts of puberty.
Depending on the type of injury or disease, children with these conditions may experience abnormal muscle tone, impaired balance, weakness, poor coordination and a decrease in functional movement, in addition to pain, swelling and bruising.
Physical therapy is a treatment method for improving limited body movement and functionality that are a result of disease, injury or aging. Treatment involves restorative exercises that focus on developing muscle strength, flexibility, balance, posture and coordination, and that provide overall pain relief. Physical therapy is designed to promote a patient's overall health and fitness, prevent reinjury and maximize quality of life. It may be prescribed as an initial form of treatment for certain conditions or injuries, or to restore strength and function after surgery.
Types of Physical Therapy
Physical therapy has many specialty areas dealing with different types of injuries and diseases. The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties recognizes only these areas:
- Clinical electrophysiology
- Women's health
- Cardiovascular and pulmonary
To rehabilitate patients, physical therapists use a combination of exercises and stretches, which are often combined with relaxation and recuperation techniques, such as electrostimulation and hot/cold treatments.
For more information about General Orthopedics, or to schedule an appointment, please call 978-454-0706.