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Orthopedics- a super specialty in medicine

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"Orthopedics" the term instantly relates to bones, muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments. The medical specialty that deals with diagnosis, treatment, cure for these organs to function normal. Many times we hear an injury to an individual that caused a fracture. The correct term is bone fracture. What is meant by “bone fracture”? It simply means a break in the continuity of the bone which is a medical condition. It can happen either due to a force that is of high impact such as an accident, stress or due to some pathologic conditions such as bones cancer, osteoporosis, or some other reasons.

To practice Orthopedics as a medical specialty requires specializing in the field after MBBS, residency and further training as an assistant all of which is intense and requires hard work. “Orthopedics” typically means the surgical specialty that deals with conditions of the musculoskeletal system. It includes both, surgical and non-surgical means to treat disorders, conditions of the musculoskeletal system. The non-surgical means are prescription medicines, physical therapy or steroids injections that are used for conditions of the joints such as arthritis, pulled muscles or other orthopedic issues.

Some of the career choices in Orthopedics are Orthopedic surgeon, Sports Medicine Physician which is a sub-specialty of Family Medicine, Orthopedic nurse and Physical Therapist. Orthopedics, both as a surgical and non-surgical specialty requires many years of intense studies and training to become a specialist in the field. Individuals who practice Orthopedics also work closely with other specialists such as Neurosurgeons, Physical Therapists, General Medicine and some other specialists. Other career choice in the field is for orthopedic nursing, which specializes in the treatment of patients with orthopedic conditions.

Selecting Orthopedics as a medical specialty is one way of making a career in the field, there is a business also. Individuals, who are interested in developing, manufacture of artificial limbs, orthopedic braces or other equipment used for Orthopedics can make a career in the field. Prosthetics and Orthotics, as it is known is the medical specialty that focuses in the evaluation, fabrication and custom-fitting of artificial limb or other orthopedic attachments. The making of this requires in-depth knowledge and expertise to work as much as a natural part.

If one selects Orthopedics a career from a business standpoint, individuals need to have in-depth knowledge of the working of the equipment to be able to sell to orthopedic surgeons. This does not require as much schooling, intense studies as that pursued by orthopedic surgeons but needs other skills such as sales and marketing. Though most of the training happens on the job, some skills, technical knowledge has to be learned pursuing a professional program or certification. Some knowledge of physiology, anatomy of the bone, muscles is an added advantage to be able to sell the product to the surgeon.

Physical Therapist is also another career option in Orthopedics. Individuals who select this career mainly work with patients who undergo orthopedic surgery. The work is to restore, rehabilitate muscular functions through massage, physical exercise and a combination of both. For example, if a person with knee problem undergoes surgery to rectify the problem, post surgery Physical Therapist in Pune will prescribe exercises that focus on strengthening the muscles and joints in that area. The function of the joints and muscles are taught to Physical Therapist at school.

Orthopedics, both as a medical and non-medical is a lucrative career option. For the right individual who is passionate about making a career in orthopedics the avenues are numerous. Individuals can choose to work in hospitals, health care centers or other facilities.

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