What does an orthopedic surgeon do?

Orthropedic Surgeons

What does an orthopedic surgeon do?, TPL Orthopedics and Sports MedicineOrthopedic surgeons use both non-surgical and surgical techniques to treat spine disorders, musculoskeletal trauma, degenerative diseases, congenital disorders, sports injuries, infections, and tumors. 

Non-surgical therapies may include using drugs, exercise, and other alternative or rehabilitation treatments. If the patient is unresponsive to conservative treatment, it may be necessary to recommend surgery.

The musculoskeletal system comprises joints, bones, ligaments, nerves, tendons, and muscles. These structures are involved in the diagnosis, pre-operative, operative, and post-op treatment.

Orthopedic surgeons undergo training to treat all facets of the musculoskeletal system. But many orthopedic doctors specialize in particular areas, such as the shoulder and elbow, hand, knee, spine, ankle, foot, or hip. 


Patients usually seek orthopedic surgeons for help with work or sports-related injuries. Orthopedic surgeons treat torn ligaments and tendons and address strains and sprains. They may also address dislocations and fractures.  

These doctors also treat patients with osteoporosis (brittle bones), and arthritis. They usually offer patients advice on strengthening weakening muscles, and they also undertake surgical procedures.

Certain surgeries repair fractured bones and soft tissues, while others address birth defects and injuries that develop due to an infection or disease. 

Performing Surgeries

Orthopedic surgeons undertake various types of surgeries. For instance, they might undertake arthroscopic surgery to repair joints, which involves using cameras and other equipment to repair joints and is less invasive in comparison to traditional surgeries.

Sometimes orthopedic surgeons replace joints that are damaged with prosthetic artificial joints.

Additionally, they also weld bones together using metal rods and bone grafts to ensure that the patients’ bones heal through a procedure known as fusion. In case the patient is severely injured, orthopedic surgeons might fit the fractured bones using pins, metal plates, and screws. 

This procedure, known as internal fixation, holds the bones in place as they heal. At times, orthopedic surgeon will cut and refit bones to treat deformities. Patients with bone tumors may also require surgeries to eliminate masses. 

Knee and Back Treatments

Back pain, knee pain, and shoulder pain are other issues that impact many people. Orthopedic surgeons can help patients with knee pain using meniscectomy and arthroscopy procedures. 

This might involve the repair of damaged cartilage in the knee for pain relief. Chondroplasty is another option, which smooths the compromised cartilage. 

Sometimes the surgeon rebuilds the lining of the knee bones to relieve pain, a procedure known as anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. They may replace the joint as a last resort.

Back pain often occurs due to ruptured discs, sciatica, and scoliosis. Sciatica refers to irritation in the nerves in the back, while scoliosis is the abnormal sideways curvature of the spine. Orthopedic surgeons address these conditions with drugs or surgery. 

Orthopedic Appointments

Orthopedic surgeons evaluate the patient’s condition. In case the condition can be treated without surgical intervention, they may prescribe medicines and ask the patient to take plenty of rest. 

At times, certain exercises can help, or supports and braces may alleviate the concern. Following surgery, patients usually require occupational or physical rehabilitation so that they can resume their normal lives

Board certified orthopedic surgeons Dr. Thomas and Dr. Bigler receive patients from Las Vegas, Nevada as well as greater Pahrump, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, and Mesquite, NV for orthopedic surgery and other procedures.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or learn more about the Knee and Shoulder Institute procedures & treatments performed by Las Vegas, Nevada board-certified surgeons Steven C. Thomas, MD and Gregory T. Bigler, MD. Contact the office today click here.

Serving patients from and around greater Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Bullhead City, Mesquite, Pahrump, Nevada.

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