Orthopaedics is a branch of medicine that focuses on the care of the musculoskeletal system, which is made up of muscles, bones, joints, ligaments and tendons. An orthopaedic surgeon is a specialist who uses both surgical and non-surgical approaches to treat a variety of musculoskeletal issues such as sports injuries, joint pain and foot and ankle conditions.
Orthopaedic musculoskeletal conditions may be present from birth or they may occur as a result of injury or wear and tear. These are some major areas of specialities in orthopaedics:
Foot and ankle
Foot and ankle orthopaedic specialists treat sprains, strains, Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, flat foot, foot bunion, metatarsalgia, hammer toe and claw toe and many other conditions. They evaluate foot and ankle problems and consider other orthopaedic issues that may contribute to these problems. For example, some foot and ankle issues may actually originate from the knee, hip or lower back. Orthopaedic surgeons then effectively diagnose and treat conditions through surgical and non-surgical approaches.
Joint replacement speciality requires orthopaedic surgeons to treat damaged or worn out joints due to wear and tear, age or overuse. The hip and knee joints are the most commonly replaced ones. During a joint replacement surgical procedure, the damaged or worn out joint is replaced with a synthetic polymer, metal alloy or ceramic orthopaedic prosthesis, with the prosthetic joint designed to move and function just like a normal, healthy joint would.
Orthopaedic trauma surgeons specialise in treating and performing surgery for injuries that are complex, severe and critical. Often, sudden injuries can occur from accidents, falls, playing sports and other occurrences that result in major damage to the bones, joints and/or soft tissue. Some orthopaedic trauma is immediately obvious such as protruding bones. Other times, trauma injuries such as various fractures, dislocations and overuse are not as threatening but still require swift, specialised care. Orthopaedic trauma surgeons will quickly diagnose and provide surgical intervention for such injuries. The goal of orthopaedic surgeons who specialise in trauma is to restore function of the injured body part as quickly and effectively as possible.
Orthopaedic surgeons who specialise in sports medicine treat athletes or anyone who incurs sports-related injuries and conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system. Sports injury doctors can prescribe methods of surgery and physical therapy when there are injuries, aid to improve performance, maximise function and mobility, and get patients back to their sports and lifestyle as quickly as possible.
Choosing an orthopaedic specialist in Singapore
It is important to look for an orthopaedic surgeon who has experience in the condition you’re dealing with. Along with their credentials, it is also good to evaluate their patient care and bedside manner. If available, you can even review news articles or publications and patients feedback about the surgeon for better understanding.
Prior to your appointment at a specialist orthopaedic centre, make a list of the questions you have for the orthopaedic surgeon you’re meeting with. You can even take a look at patient surgery videos and patient rehab videos for awareness of your condition and what to expect prior to, during and after your treatment or surgery.
Dr Gowreeson Thevendran is an award-winning orthopaedic surgeon with Island Orthopaedic, a one-stop specialist clinic in Singapore. Dr Gowreeson believes in incorporating the latest technology and knowledge in orthopaedic surgery and providing comprehensive, personalised, high-quality care with compassion.
He has a specialist interest in lower limb orthopaedic conditions and trauma and fracture surgery of both the upper and lower limbs. He has surgical expertise in minimally invasive surgical techniques in the treatment of foot and ankle, knee and hip/thigh conditions. Book a consultation and have a chat with Dr Gowreeson on how he can help with your orthopaedic condition.