Orthopedic surgery


Orthopedic surgery is a specialized medical field dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions and injuries that affect the musculoskeletal system in individuals. This system encompasses the following components: bones, muscles, and joints, cartilage, soft tissues, tendons and ligaments. Common orthopedic surgical procedures include knee replacements and ACL surgeries.

The musculoskeletal system facilitates movement, supports body weight, and maintains posture. These parts of the body may experience pain or limited range of motion due to an accident or underlying medical condition. Orthopedic surgery treats musculoskeletal system injuries or offers routine maintenance.


Certain musculoskeletal system areas may be the focus of attention for orthopedic surgeons. They will repair, replace, or reconstruct the following body parts:

  • Foot and ankle.
  • Hand and wrist.
  • Shoulder and elbow.
  • Hip.
  • Knee.
  • Spine.

Orthopedic surgeons can also focus on any of the following surgical specialties:

  • Bone tumors (oncology)
  • Trauma or injuries.
  • Sport medicine
  • Sport injuries.
  • Pediatric.

Reasons for undergoing the procedure

Surgery in orthopedics is quite common. ACL repair and knee replacement surgery are the two most common surgical procedures performed by orthopedic surgeons.

The following conditions are treated or managed by orthopedic surgery:

  • Arthritis.
  • Bursitis.
  • Congenital deformities (which is present at birth)
  • Tumors.
  • Fractures or broken bones.
  • Joint, muscular, and bone pain.
  • Tear in muscle, cartilage, or ligament.


Surgical procedures, while generally safe and effective, are not entirely devoid of risks. Patients undergoing surgery should anticipate potential risks and complications, which their surgeon will thoroughly discuss with them during the pre-operative consultation. After orthopedic surgery, these risks may include:

  • Bleeding.
  • Blood clots.
  • Infection.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Numbness.
  • Stiffness or painful joints

Speak with the surgeon if the patient has any concerns regarding risks or side effects of their procedure.

Before the procedure

The patient will consult with an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the kind of surgery they require prior to having orthopedic surgery. In order to learn more about their condition, they will take a comprehensive medical history, examine the body part they intend to operate on, and study any imaging tests, such as an X-ray.

The procedure will then be scheduled. The surgeon will go over the recovery period, possible risks and complications. If you have any inquiries, it’s advisable to pose them during the consultation.

The purpose of the surgery determines when the procedure should be performed. There may be little to no waiting time if the patient has a severe fracture or broken bones, in which case they might require emergency surgery. The surgeon may schedule the patient’s non-emergency elective surgery several days, weeks, or months in advance. During the appointment, ask the surgeon about the procedure’s timeline and the earliest possible date for scheduling.

During the procedure

A healthcare provider will take the patient’s vital signs and administer IV fluids or medicine if needed on the day of the procedure to help them get ready for the procedure.

Patient will have to change into a hospital gown that will be given for them after taking off all jewelry and clothes. After that, the patient will be taken to an operating room by the healthcare team so that the procedure can start.

An anesthesiologist will give the patient anesthetic in the operating room so they can sleep through the procedure and not experience any pain. The surgeon will start the process after they are asleep.

The surgical approach differs depending on the reason for the operation and what the surgeon performs. Utilizing surgical instruments, they will first make a tiny skin incision. In the case of typical orthopedic surgeries, they might have to do the following:

  • Use screws, pins, rods, or plates to fix a fracture to ensure proper bone healing.
  • To treat joint deterioration brought on by arthritis, replace a bone with a metal or plastic cover.
  • Remove injured ligaments and replace them with donor tissue grafts or healthy tissue from another area of the body.

During the consultation, the surgeon will go over everything they intend to do during the procedure and how they intend to accomplish it.

After finishing the surgery, the surgeon will close any skin incisions they made and cover the surgical site with a bandage.

After the procedure

The patient will be placed in a recovery room by the healthcare team after the procedure until the effects of the anesthesia wear off. After spending a few hours in the recovery area, they will either leave the hospital or remain overnight for monitoring.

The patient will be discharged from the hospital with instructions on how to protect the surgical site and what activities are safe to perform.

After surgery, the patient will require a lot of rest. In the event that they are unable to resume their regular activities, they should make arrangements for friends or relatives to assist them.

Several days of rest may be required for the patient, depending on the type of surgery required, until their body recovers sufficiently. Speak with the surgeon about the routine tasks. Discuss the typical activities with the surgeon. The patient will be informed if they may proceed or when it’s safe for them to get back to their regular schedule.

The surgeon will follow up to ensure that they are healing appropriately. To monitor their healing process, they will arrange for regular follow-up appointment. Following their operation, these appointments will take place in the days, weeks, and months.

In order to monitor how the musculoskeletal system is healing, the healthcare provider may order imaging tests, such as an X-ray, during follow-up visits. In order to restore strength to surgically repaired bodily parts, patients might need to engage in physical therapy.


Orthopedic surgery offers several advantages, such as alleviating pain, enhancing range of motion, optimizing the functionality of specific body parts, fixing broken bones, and removing harmful tumors.

The process that orthopedic surgery determines how long it will take the body to heal. It may require few weeks or months. The patient’s recovery period and self-care strategies for promoting physical healing will be addressed by the surgeon. For typical orthopedic procedures, the following recovery durations are typical:

  • ACL surgery is around nine months.
  • Fracture or broken bones surgery is around three months.
  • Knee replacement surgery is around three months.

The patient’s healthcare provider will advise the patient on what activities they may and cannot undertake based on the type of surgery they underwent. They will provide them these instructions before and after surgery so they may get ready for their recovery and ask for help from friends, family, or caregivers while they heal.

The patient should refrain from heavy lifting, contact sports, and any other intense activity following surgery. Following surgery for a sports injury, recovery time varies from six to nine months before return to the court or field. It is essential to adhere to the recommendations given by the healthcare provider following surgery, as excessive use of a part of the body that should be in rest can interfere with the healing process. Future surgeries may be necessary as a result of this, as well as injuries and infections.

If the patient experiences any of the following symptoms following surgery, schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider:

  • Blood or fluid leaking out of the wound.
  • Color changes to the incision site.
  • Fever.
  • Swelling.
  • Severe pain.

After surgery, the healthcare provider will set up appointments to track the body’s healing process. Contact the healthcare provider right away if the patient has any surgical complications in between these appointments.