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Career as an Orthopedist


Orthopaedics is the medical specialty that focuses on injuries and diseases of your body's musculoskeletal system. This complex system, which includes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves, allows you to move, work, and be active.Once devoted to the care of children with spine and limb deformities, orthopaedists now care for patients of all ages, from newborns with clubfeet to young athletes requiring arthroscopic surgery to older people with arthritis. And anybody can break a bone.The physicians who specialize in this area are called orthopedic surgeons or orthopedists.

Role of the orthopedist

Orthopedists use medical, physical and rehabilitative methods as well as surgery and are involved in all aspects of heath care pertaining to the musculoskeletal system. It is a specialty of incredible breadth and variety. Orthopedists treat a immense variety of diseases and conditions, including fractures and dislocations, torn ligaments, sprains and strains tendon injuries, pulled muscles and bursitis ruptured disks, sciatica, low back pain, and scoliosis knock knees, bow legs, bunions and hammer toes, arthritis and osteoporosis, bone tumors, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy, club foot and unequal leg length abnormalities of the fingers and toes, and growth abnormalities.

In general, orthopedists are skilled in the:

· Diagnosis of your injury or disorder

· Treatment with medication, exercise, surgery or other treatment plans

·Rehabilitation by recommending exercises or physical therapy to restore movement, strength and function

· Prevention with information and treatment plans to prevent injury or slow the progression of diseases

Typically, as much as 50 percent of the orthopaedist’s practice is devoted to non-surgical or medical management of injuries or disease and 50 percent to surgical management. Surgery may be needed to restore function lost as a result of injury or disease of bones, joint, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves or skin.

The orthopedist also works closely with other health care professionals and often serves as a consultant to other physicians. Orthopedists are members of the teams that manage complex, multi-system trauma, and often play an important role in the organization and delivery of emergency care.


1. ACL Reconstruction Surgery

ACL stands for Anterior Cruciate Ligament, and it’s one of the major ligaments in your knee. It’s located diagonally in the front of your knees, and it provides stability when you rotate your legs.

During surgery, the surgeon will take a portion of a tendon from another part of your body and use it as a graft to replace the torn ACL. Patients can usually go home the same day of the surgery and follow the RICE home remedy method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.

If you’re an athlete, be patient, since it can take up to a year before you’re able to get back to playing the sports you love.

2. Knee Replacement Surgery

Depending on the severity of the injury, a patient may need either a partial or total knee replacement surgery. Both are due to cartilage damage to the knee joints, which makes movement restricted and painful. This could be a result of trauma, bursitis due to repetitive movements, or obesity.

When a person undergoes a total knee replacement, the entire damaged knee joint is removed and replaced with metal components. During partial knee replacement, only the damaged portion of the knee will be replaced.

3. Shoulder Replacement Surgery

In shoulder replacement surgery, the surgeon removes the top portion of the humerus (upper arm bone) and replaces it with a metal ball. Then the doctor removes the damaged portion of the socket and replaces it with a plastic prosthesis. The rotator cuff (the tendons and ligaments in the shoulder) would then hold everything in place.

If the rotator cuff is also injured, the surgeon would perform a Reverse Shoulder Replacement: The metal ball is placed in the socket and the plastic prosthesis is placed on top of the humerus, held in place by screws and plates.

4. Hip Replacement Surgery

The thigh bone (femur) is connected to the hip bones (pelvis) by a ball-and-socket joint. The top portion of the femur is called the femoral head, and it’s the “ball” portion. The “socket” portion in the pelvis is called the acetabulum. When a person’s hips are healthy, everything fits together nicely, with cartilage making the joint move smoothly.

There are two different types of hip replacement surgery: Under the traditional approach, the entire ball and socket joint is replaced with either a metal or plastic prosthesis; while during the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing approach, only the damaged portions are replaced, making the surgery less invasive requiring less recovery time.

5. Knee Arthroscopy

Arthroscopic surgery is minimally invasive. The surgeon makes a small incision and inserts a tiny camera attached to their instruments, allowing them to see what’s going on inside your knee joint. The images are projected on a screen, and your doctor uses the small instruments to correct the problem.

6. Shoulder Arthroscopy

This type of surgery uses the same method described above for knee surgery, except that it’s done performed on your shoulder. The surgeon may need to make additional small incisions to repair the damaged portions of the joint.

7. Ankle Repair

Ankle repair surgery is necessary if the joint is unstable after a fracture. This means that the bones are not aligned properly. During surgery, the bones are repositioned to their appropriate position and held together with implants.

After surgery, the patient will be required to wear a cast or a boot for several weeks. Once the ankle bones have healed, the patient will be allowed to place weight on the foot and engage in rehabilitation exercises to regain full range of motion.

8. Spinal Surgeries

There are many different types of back surgeries: Spinal Fusion, Discectomy, Kyphoplasty, and Laminectomy, are among several others. They’re all critical since the spine provides central support to the entire skeletal system. Fortunately, there are ways to perform many of these procedures with minimal invasion.

9. Joint Fusion

This type of surgery is common among arthritis patients. The damaged cartilage is removed during surgery and replaced with a graft. The bones making up the joint are then welded together to provide joint stability. It can be done in your spine, fingers, ankles, and feet.

10. Trigger Finger Release

Fingers have tendons that go from their base to the fingertips. These tendons allow people to move and bend their fingers and are covered by a protective sheath. If this sheath is injured, it becomes inflamed. This prevents the patient from being able to fully extend his or her finger. This is known as “trigger finger” or stenosing tenosynovitis. There are three types of surgery to correct trigger finger, and they all require only local anesthesia. The patient is also likely to be able to return home that same day.


· practical skills such as good hand-eye co-ordination and manual dexterity

· excellent vision and the ability to visualise in 3D

· good organisational ability and stamina with a busy and demanding role

· the ability to both work in a team and in isolation

· enthusiasm, commitment and the ability to cope in a crisis

· excellent communication skills to deal with patients and colleagues

· Ability to work long hours, often under pressure.

· Good practical skills.

· Ability to solve problems.

· Effective decision-making skills.

· Leadership and management skills.

· Communication skills, compassion and a good bedside manner.

· Drive to continue learning throughout career.

· Analytical ability.

Skills Required

Orthopedic surgeons must have a thorough understanding of current medical technologies, medical ethics, pharmacology and physiology. A particular aptitude for musculoskeletal health, disease prevention and treatment is essential.

An orthopedic surgery career also requires an ability to work long hours and make solid decisions under pressure. Orthopedic surgeons must stay abreast of new developments in the orthopedic surgery field.

Orthopedic surgeons complete more than a decade of training, including an orthopedic surgical residency in a hospital. They must pass the complex USMLE exam to earn their medical license, then take an exam to become board certified as an orthopedic surgeon.


  • Excellence

  • Innovation

  • Quality

  • Integrity

  • Honesty

  • Creativity


· Our Mission: Our mission is to transform the lives ofour patients by restoring function and enhancing quality of life.

· Our Vision: Our vision is to be the recognized leader in orthopaedic care where patients want to be treated, team members want to build careers, and physicians want to practice medicine.

· Our Core Values:

· Patient Centered • We deliver quality care • We are Compassionate in all patient interactions • We do what is in the best interest of the patient

· Accountable • We take ownership • We act with integrity • We achieve results • We deliver on our commitments to each other

· Team Focused • We support, value, and empower our team members We work collaboratively • We promote diversity • We embrace a positive and supportive culture

· Innovative • We encourage ideas • We embrace and drive change • We are progressive • We continuously improve

· Service Driven • We prioritize the needs of our patients, our teams, and our community above our own


Your orthopaedic surgeon is a medical doctor with extensive training in the proper diagnosis and treatment of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. He or she has completed up to 14 years of formal education, including: Four years of study in a college or university. Four years of study in medical school.

After completing a 4-year bachelor's degree program in biology, pre-medicine or a related field, aspiring orthopedic surgeons must complete four additional years of medical school, followed by a 4- to 5-year orthopedic surgery residency in a hospital. The first year of residency usually covers general surgery, with the remaining years devoted to orthopedic-specific training. Surgeons wishing to specialize further in subspecialties, such as orthopedic sports medicine or pediatric orthopaedics, must also complete a 1- to 2-year fellowship after their residency.

Required Licensing and Certification

Like all doctors, orthopedic surgeons must pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination to legally practice ( This exam can be taken in several parts, usually while students are still involved in their residencies. After completing their residencies, orthopedic surgeons must also pass an exam by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery, a division of the American Board of Medical Specialties, in order to be certified in their area of surgery ( Recertification is required every 7-10 years.


Orthopedic surgeons treat most muscle and skeletal problems including arthritis, congenital deformities, or trauma injuries. They provide medical care by performing physical exams, designing treatment and therapeutic plans, and keeping track of patient progress to determine what needs to be done. They often perform back and spinal surgeries, joint replacement surgery, and repair fractures in bones. The surgeon is often in charge of the entire orthopedic department including the physician’s assistants, nurses and surgery technicians. They will assign assistants and technicians to specific duties and surgeries and make sure everyone is taking part in helping the department to operate smoothly.An orthopedic surgeon must be able to work independently and conduct a surgery on their own from start to finish. The surgeon will determine exactly what needs to be done to a patient and decide just how much help they need in the operating room. They will choose staff to work with them on each surgery as nurses or assistants, as well as caring for the patient after surgery.

Surgeons will need to understand the proper sanitation and sterilization procedures before, during and after surgery, as well as be able to handle the sometimes-unpleasant smells or sights that come with cutting someone open.

Orthopedic surgeons must be able to handle extremely stressful and high pressures situations, as surgeries can sometimes spiral out of control relatively quickly or the patient may respond negatively. The surgeon must be able to think quickly and keep all situations under control. They must also possess manual dexterity to multitask yet concentrate just as hard on each specific job being done.

Someone who intends to work as an orthopedic surgeon must also be continually up to date on new technological advancements and medical procedures being brought into the surgery room. Many states require surgeons of all types to renew their license every few years so they will stay up to date on any advancements and new findings


Most surgeons work in a hospital setting or in a private clinic. The environment is usually fast-paced and high-stress, so it is important for surgeons to be able to continue performing surgeries and taking care of patients even if the environment is getting overwhelming. Surgeons typically have several assistants available in case there is an abundance of emergency surgery patients.

Surgeons must also be able to handle the intense surgery environment. Surgery often comes with unpleasant smells or sights, and a surgeon must be able to continue working regardless of what the person looks like or what happens once they are cut open. Some people may respond negatively to surgery and bleed excessively, so a surgeon will need to be able to quickly fix any issues without being bothered. They must look at bodies not in a physical and emotional way, but as if they are a piece of work that needs to be mastered and fixed.

Many surgeons work long or odd hours, particularly those in the orthopedic field. Surgeries working on the back or neck can sometimes take an entire day, so surgeons must be able to continually work without the possibility of stopping to go to the bathroom or take a lunch break. Surgery often does not allow for these breaks, and it often requires surgeons to work through the night or stay on-call to make sure a patient does not suffer from any after effects.


Salaries for orthopedic surgeons, or any type of surgeon, are among the highest of any occupation. The average salary for an orthopedic surgeon is about $339,000 per year. Self-employed surgeons working in their own practice often make more than a surgeon working for a salary at a hospital. However, surgeons working for a hospital will automatically receive health insurance as well as vacation time from their employer, while most self-employed surgeons will have to provide and pay for these benefits themselves.


What is some good advice for orthopaedic students?

1. Get Referrals

To get started, ask your primary care doctor for a referral list. Family, friends and other healthcare professionals are also good resources to ask for recommendations. Take the time to research the doctors’ credentials and experience on As you narrow down your list, call to make consult appointments to meet and interview each orthopedic surgeon.

2. Research the Orthopedic Surgeon’s Credentials

Board certification is an important factor to consider when you are choosing an orthopedic surgeon. Certification tells you that the doctor has the necessary training, skills and experience to provide orthopedic care. Also confirm that the orthopedic surgeon has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. You can find the orthopedic surgeon’s medical school, training hospital, certifications, and malpractice and disciplinary history on and state websites.

3. Consider the Orthopedic Surgeon’s Experience

When it comes to specialized medical or surgical care for complex orthopedic problems, the more experience a doctor has, the better your results are likely to be. Ask how many patients with your specific condition the orthopedic surgeon has treated. If you know you need a specific procedure, ask how many of the procedures the doctor has performed and find out about complication rates— complications the doctor has encountered as well as your own risk of complications.

4. Consider Gender

It is important for you to feel comfortable with your orthopedic surgeon’s gender because you will need to openly discuss personal information. Be sure to ask the orthopedic surgeon about his or her recent training and experience specifically related to your condition and your gender. Doctors are becoming more aware of anatomical sex differences and gender attitude differences in treating orthopedic patients. As a result, orthopedic programs specific for each gender are becoming more common.

5. Research Hospital Quality

Your doctor’s hospital is your hospital. For this reason, consider the quality of care at the hospital or ambulatory surgery center where the orthopedic surgeon can treat patients. Hospital quality matters to you because patients at top-rated hospitals have fewer complications and better survival rates. Additionally, consider whether the hospital’s location is important to you. After an orthopedic procedure, frequent follow-up and rehabilitation visits may mean you need a convenient location.

What is like being an orthopedic?

Orthopaedic surgeons are devoted to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Some orthopaedists are generalists, while others specialize in certain areas of the body, such as: Hip and knee. Foot and ankle.

How difficult it is to become an orthopedic?

Becoming an orthopedic surgeon is exceedingly difficult, and many medical students who apply for an orthopedic surgery residency do not get placed in that type of residency program. ... Moreover, orthopedic surgery faculty say that only the strongest medical students typically apply for an orthopedic surgery residency.

Is it worth studying this?

Successful orthopedists compared with other physicians

Whereas 94.9% of orthopedists were very happy with their choice of specialty, 49.7% of other physicians had the same level of job satisfaction (p < 0.001). ... Orthopedic surgeons were less likely than other physicians to report feeling tired and stressed (23% v.

Should I become an Orthopaedic?

Orthopedics is such a rewarding specialty because you're working with patients who have a significant problem, and oftentimes you're correcting it. ... In addition to personal fulfilment, there is another important point that helps medical students choosing orthopedics as their specialty: the salary.

Best colleges for Orthopaedics?

ACPM Medical College Adichunchanagiri Institute of Medical Sciences – AIMS Agartala Government Medical College
All India Institute of Medical Sciences - AIIMS Delh All India Institute of Medical Sciences - AIIMS Jodhpur


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