Who is an Orthopedic Surgeon?

An orthopedic surgeon is a doctor who specializes in the surgical and non-surgical treatment of diseases, disorders, and injuries (including fractures) of the skeletal system: spine, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and peripheral nerves. These conditions include:

  • Soft tissure injuries and diseases
  • Sports injuries and arthroscopic surgery
  • Degenerative joint disease and joint replacement
  • Open and closed treatment of broken bones
  • Torn knee ligaments and cartilage
  • Hand surgery including carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Ruptured disc
  • Arthritic changes causing compresssion of the nerve root and spinal cord

Orthopedic surgeons are physicians and have, therefore, graduated from a four-year college program, followed by a four-year medical school program. After earning and being awarded a Doctor of Medicine degree, they then go on to postgraduate medical training in intership and residency programs for five years. Fellowships are usually an additional year of subspecialty training.