The musculoskeletal system contains the joints, bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. It is these parts of the body that help the body move. When things go wrong with parts of the musculoskeletal system, it can severely limit range of motion and also cause pain and discomfort. Severe conditions of the musculoskeletal system greatly reduce one's quality of life.
Thankfully, there are doctors called orthopedic surgeons that provide effective treatment for disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Here are three conditions orthopedic surgeons treat.
Swollen and tender joints indicate a condition called arthritis. This condition can affect the joints in nearly every part of the body including the knees, shoulders, hands, hips, wrists, and ankles. There are also many different types of arthritis. One of the most common is osteoarthritis. Also known as degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage in the joint begins to break down.
Treatment for arthritis depends on which part of the body is affected, along with the type of arthritis. Joint replacement is a common type of treatment an orthopedic surgeon provides. Another treatment option for arthritis is an osteotomy, which is when an orthopedic surgeon reshapes the bones.
This condition occurs when bone density is reduced, which makes the bones more fragile. The weakened bones become susceptible to unexpected fractures. Most people who have osteoporosis won't know it until they sustain a fracture. This is why it's important for aging adults to get bone density screenings. This type of test allows an orthopedic surgeon to diagnose osteoporosis in its earliest stages.
An orthopedic surgeon manages osteoporosis by helping their patients retain bone mass. Patients can retain bone mass by eating foods that are rich in calcium and Vitamin D and doing weight bearing exercises to strengthen the bones. An orthopedic surgeon might also prescribe certain medications that can help to slow down bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures.
3. Bone Tumors
Tumors can grow in nearly every part of the body, including the bones. When an injury does not heal properly it can cause the cells within the bones divide uncontrollably, which results in a bone tumor. Other causes of bone tumors include genetics and going through radiation therapy.
While noncancerous bone tumors might go away on their own, some of them require treatment. An orthopedic surgeon treats benign bone tumors with either medication or surgery. If the bone tumor is cancerous, an orthopedic surgeon may need to work with an oncologist to administer radiation therapy or chemotherapy.