Orthopaedics is the branch of medicine concerned with injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system, which comprises the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves.
You may be referred to an orthopaedic consultant for treatment of an injury such as a bone fracture, a deformity of the spine or limbs, or a long-term condition that has developed over many years, such as arthritis.
Orthopaedic specialists treat patients of all ages – from newborns and children with deformities such as club foot or scoliosis, to young athletes needing arthroscopic surgery (see below), to older people with joint problems.
Most consultants who work in orthopaedics work alongside general surgeons in emergency care. They may:
The vast majority also have a specialist interest – this may be in a particular orthopaedic condition, an area of the body or in a field such as paediatrics or sport surgery.
Some of the most common operations orthopaedic surgeons perform include:
Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.