Orthopedics is the study, diagnosis and treatment of the musculoskeletal system. The system includes muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints of the body, excluding the skull, face and chest. Despite visiting an orthopedic surgeon, the majority of patients who are seen in the office are there for non-surgical conditions.
There is a significant amount of medical information readily available to laypeople, that is, prospective orthopedic patients without medical training, at this time. Most of the information available about orthopedics in magazines, on television and on the Internet, address surgical intervention. The information is spread, particularly on television, primarily by companies that manufacture orthopedic implants, such as joint replacement products. These orthopedic devices are a very lucrative line of business for such companies. The companies’ advertisements may sensationalize the results of their products in an attempt to convince people that these corrective procedures need to be done.
While it is good to have an educated consumer who is familiar with possible treatments for their ailments, nothing can compare to an open dialogue with a physician about their unique, individual case. In reality, orthopedic surgical procedures in most cases are elective, and require a long period of post-operative rehabilitation and physical therapy for recovery. It is important that your orthopedic surgeon discusses the various non-surgical and surgical work up and treatment options for a patient’s particular problem and lifestyle. The patient shouldn't make a decision based upon advertising alone, but on an informed discussion with a trained surgeon.
Dr. Axelrod is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine, joint replacements, arthroscopic and open shoulder surgery and general orthopedics. To learn more about him visit: Dr. Glenn Axelrod's Profile