About Orthopedics

Orthopedics is a medical specialty concerned with correction of deformities or functional impairments of the skeletal system, including the limbs and spine, and the associated muscles and ligaments.

Symptoms and Diagnosing

Common orthopedic problems include:

  • Back pain
  • Bursitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Elbow pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Foot pain
  • Fractures
  • Hand pain
  • Knee pain
  • Kyphosis (excessive curvature of the spine)
  • Ligament injuries of the knee
  • Neck pain
  • Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Shoulder pain
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Torn meniscus

Orthopedic surgeons use a variety of diagnostic tests to help identify the specific nature of your musculoskeletal injury or condition. The results of these tests determine the appropriate course of treatment or indicate the need for surgery. Diagnostic tests for orthopedic conditions include:

  • Arthrography (contrast iodine solution and X-rays)
  • Blood test
  • Bone scan (identifies medical issues of the bones)
  • Bone density testing (identifies the mineral content of the bones)
  • Computed Tomography (CT scan)
  • Discography (contrast dye injection with CT)
  • Doppler ultrasound
  • Electromyography (records and analyzes the electrical activity in your muscles)
  • Flexibility test
  • Joint aspiration (removal of fluid) and analysis/lab studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Muscle test
  • Nerve conduction (identifies nerve damage)
  • Physical exam
  • Quantitative Computed Tomography (a type of bone mineral density testing)
  • Range-of-motion testing
  • Stress tests
  • Ultrasonography
  • X-ray

Treatment and Surgical Options

Upon diagnosis, treatment of orthopedic problems depends on the condition. Some orthopedic conditions can be successfully treated with medical management, including physical therapy, bracing, and medication. Other orthopedic conditions require surgery.

Depending on the nature of your condition, you may have the option of open surgery, performed through one large incision, or arthroscopic or robotic-assisted surgery, performed through a few small incisions.

Robotic technology has revolutionized orthopedic surgery, enabling surgical sites to be tightly confined and nerves to be spared. Robotic surgery offers excellent accuracy and precision with less scarring, less pain, and faster recovery.

Single Portal Arthroscopy (SPA) is a minimally invasive arthroscopic surgical technique for repairing joint injuries, particularly in the knee. SPA requires just one small incision instead of the two or three incisions of standard arthroscopy.

Total hip or knee joint replacement, or partial knee replacement, can now be achieved with the MAKOplasty® robotic arm. This technology is powered by a surgeon-controlled RIO® robotic arm, enabling the surgeon to more accurately achieve the biomechanical alignments that are planned to fit the patient’s unique anatomy. The system requires a computed tomography (CT) scan of your hip or knee just prior to your surgery to create a unique surgical plan for optimal implant placement.

Benefits of Robotic Surgery

Benefits include:

  • Faster recovery
  • Less scarring
  • Shorter hospital stays


Consider learning more about your diagnosis and surgical options. The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine maintains a listing of Resources and Links that may be helpful. Ask your doctor or medical team for additional support resources in your area.