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The Most Common Orthopedic Problems and their Treatment

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Orthopedics is the branch of medical science that involves the health and diseases of the human musculoskeletal system. An orthopedic problem is any kind of ailment, injury, pain, or disorder that is linked to the human musculoskeletal system. There are many orthopedic disorders, that are painful & often life-threatening.  We will discuss some of the most common problems and their treatment

Lower back pain
Lower back pain is one of the most common disorders. There are several causes and intensities of back pain, ranging from mild to severe with and without an underlying cause. It may be due to bad posture, weakness of core muscles, or work related such as lifting heavy weights, etc. Sometimes it may have a more sinister cause such a trapped nerve root, backbone disorders, infections, slip discs, dislocations or fractures.

Knee pain
Another common complaint is of knee joint pain. This used to be common in middle to old ages due to degenerative diseases of joint. Bad posture, inappropriate physical activities, lack of exercise, prolonged sitting, obesity and nutritional deficiencies are some of the common causes for Knee joint pains. Knee joint pains are often the first sign for some disorders such as Gout, Rheumatoid arthritis, Septic arthritis, infections. These are commonly treated by Rheumatologists but any subsequent joint deformity will require Orthopedic consult.

Conditions such as fractures, Knee joint ligament injuries, Knee joint damage due to different causes of arthritis, meniscal injuries, dislocation of knee cap are some of the conditions for which one must consult an Orthopedic Surgeon for timely intervention.

Hip Joint pain
Hip joint is one of the largest joint in the body that helps to support body weight, just like knee joint. Its health state enables mobility with efficiency in all age groups. Any disease or deformity of hip joint is a reason for great distress for individuals and their families. Hip joint issues can affect any age from a newborn to old age. Hip joint dysplasia is diagnosed in an infant and must be timely addressed to ensure growth and mobility of the child.

Fracture of the hip joints most commonly seen among old age group are due to weak bones and osteoporosis, often occurring subsequent to a fall. Poor blood supply to the joint also leads to necrosis of the Femur head and thus requires surgical intervention. If a person is experiencing symptoms such as inability to move hip, or leg; deformity of the leg; inability to bear weight; swelling and pain then must consult a doctor to get the necessary examination and investigations done for diagnosis.

Arthritis is the swelling of a joint. it is a painful orthopedic condition and often causes stiffness in the joints. Women in general have a higher risk of suffering from Arthritis than men. This can also be hereditary, such as a family history of arthritis. There are various underlying causes of Arthritis which can be treated with medications and physiotherapy to relieve pain. Other treatment options may include massage of the affected area, acupuncture, joint immobilization, and if all fails then surgery.

Shoulder pain
Shoulder Joint is one of the most mobile joint in Human body. Its healthy state like other body joints enables functional efficiency. The shoulder is a ball and socket type of joint which partially unstable due to the discrepant ratio of the socket to the upper end of upper arm bone. The discrepant size however, enables greater mobility. Also, presence of muscles surrounding the joint helps to make it stronger.

Among various causes of Shoulder joint pain dislocation, arthritis, frozen shoulder rotator cuff injuries are more common. These are commonly diagnosed with careful assessment and examination by a specialist Orthopedic surgeon and treated accordingly.

If a person is experiencing sudden pain, inability to move the shoulder joint whether acute or chronic, intense pain and swelling, s/he must contact the doctor for appropriate investigation and treatment.

Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine, mostly sideways. The natural spine curvature is directed forward.
There are various causes of scoliosis which can be congenital i.e. present since birth, an underlying neuromuscular condition due to which natural curvature of the spine is lost or idiopathic where no underlying reason can be identified.
Scoliosis can be identified when we observe in a person – Differences in shoulder height, the head is not in a central position aligned with the body, differences in hip positions, when the affected person is standing straight the difference in the positioning of both arms by the side.

Scoliosis hampers growth and development and the abnormal spine curvature can lead to other abnormalities. An orthopedic surgeon with expertise in spine surgeries can offer solutions based on the age and disease progress.

Hamstring injuries

Hamstring muscles are found on the back side of the thigh. They have  important function in hip and knee joint mobility. A hamstring injury is most often found in athletes. Football and soccer players, as well as runners are more prone to this type of injury.  It is caused by a tear in one of the hamstrings which is very painful.  In most of the cases it can be treated by physical therapy. For serious complications surgery will be required for complete recovery.


A fracture is the partial or complete break of the bone.  Fractures happen when more force is given to the bone than it can take. Bone fractures are caused by falls, trauma, or direct kick to the bone. Fractures can also be caused by some diseases such as osteoporosis or cancer spreading to the bones. Symptoms of fractures include sudden pain, swelling, deformity, bruising, or redness of the area. Treatment includes medications, a splint, or a cast applied to immobilize the fractured site while the bone heals. In some cases, surgery is needed to fix the broken bones back into place. Internal fixation or external fixation devices such as metal rods or pins are used to hold the bone fragments while the bone heals.

Many orthopedic conditions that affect your body’s musculoskeletal system need medical care by a specialized healthcare provider. There are some measures that you can do to decrease your risk of orthopedic disorders. Such as

  • Take a healthy diet that is rich in vitamin D and calcium
  • Try to do weight-bearing exercises to keep your bones strong
  • Maintain ideal body weight
  • Do not neglect symptoms of pain and deformity while using over-the-counter medicines
  • Do not use any type of tobacco. Smoking increases the risk of bone fractures and also slows down the healing process
  • Talk to your doctor about your risk of osteoporosis as it is common in older people. Get treatment as early as possible if you have it.
  • Make sure you visit the right doctor who is specialized in orthopedics and your specific issue