Orthopaedic vs.Orthopedic: Is There a Difference?

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the two words, orthopaedic and orthopedic. Many people believe one word is correct, while the other is obsolete. On the other hand, some individuals think these words have two different meanings. However, orthopaedic and orthopedic refer to the same specialty, meaning they are only different spelling variations of the same term.

To explain, orthopaedics is the original British form of the word orthopedics. While orthopedics is more commonly used, both words are valid terms when referring to the diagnosis and treatment of conditions and injuries of the musculoskeletal system. However, the term orthopaedics is still used among most universities, higher education departments, and professional organizations. In other words, you can use these two terms interchangeably.

Let’s take a look at what orthopedics is, how it works, and when this form of medicine should be utilized.

Where Does the Word “Orthaepedic” Originate From?

Both words, orthopaedic and orthopedic, come from the Greek word “orthos” – meaning straight – and the Greek word “paideion” – meaning children. Orthopedics was originally invented by the 17th-century physician Nicholas Andry de Bois-Regard. This medical practice was first intended to treat spinal deformities in children, such as polio or scoliosis. However, orthopedics has evolved into a wide-ranging medical practice that treats any conditions related to the musculoskeletal system.

What is Orthopedics?

As previously mentioned, today’s orthopedic practices encompass the diagnosis and treatment of any conditions or injuries related to the musculoskeletal system. In other words, orthopedic treatment entails degenerative conditions, trauma, sports injury, tumors, and congenital issues.

Doctors who specialize in orthopedics are known as orthopedic surgeons. While they are certified surgeons, these physicians are trained to handle much more than surgery. Orthopedic surgeons are qualified to diagnose, manage, and treat musculoskeletal problems that affect bones and soft tissues in the body. Additionally, orthopedic surgeons may recommend rehabilitative treatment methods, provide education on conditions, and guidance to patients to prevent future orthopedic concerns.

When Should an Individual See an Orthopedic Surgeon?

Individuals who are struggling with common musculoskeletal issues should always see an orthopedic surgeon. These common issues may include knee pain, back pain, joint pain, or an injury that has not healed properly.

Orthopedic surgeons diagnose and help treat many types of pain, including:

  • Hip pain
  • Back or neck pain
  • Knee pain
  • Shoulder, elbow, wrist, or hand pain
  • Ankle or foot pain

Oftentimes, pain, and stiffness of the joints lead to mobility issues, which is something an orthopedic surgeon can treat. If you are struggling with a limited range of motion due to joint pain, your everyday tasks and responsibilities may become difficult. This is where an orthopedic surgeon comes in, as they can help to increase your range of motion and make it easier to complete everyday tasks without experiencing any stiffness or discomfort.

Additionally, if you have sprained, fractured, or broken a bone, it might be wise to visit an orthopedic surgeon. Individuals who have torn or injured soft tissue should also attend an orthopedic doctor.

Injuries that orthopedic surgeons address include:

  • Stress fractures
  • Bone fractures
  • Soft tissue or tendon injuries
  • Sprained ankles, wrists, etc.
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Dislocated shoulder
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Tennis elbow
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Lastly, you should set up an appointment with an orthopedic doctor if you are struggling with chronic conditions such as arthritis, bursitis, and osteoporosis. These conditions can become debilitating, as they cause pain, dysfunction, and limited range of motion.

If you are struggling with any of the following issues, you should see an orthopedist:

  • Pain, stiffness, or discomfort that makes daily activities difficult
  • Chronic pain
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Instability while standing or walking
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
  • Soft tissue injury that hasn’t improved

How Does an Orthopedic Doctor Help Their Patients?

After diagnosing the source of a patient’s discomfort, an orthopedist will work with their client to create a treatment plan. A patient’s treatment plan will depend on a variety of factors, including their age, overall health, lifestyle, the severity of their condition, as well as how the condition impacts the patient’s daily activities. Based on these factors, the physician will prescribe a treatment regimen specifically designed for the individual patient’s needs.

Based on the mentioned factors, an orthopedist may recommend treatment methods such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Surgery
  • Medication
  • In-office procedures
  • A combination of the above

It’s important to remember that while orthopedists are commonly referred to as orthopedic surgeons, seeing an orthopedist does not necessarily mean you need surgery. These physicians also perform a number of non-surgical treatment options to help you manage your condition and prevent future injuries. Additionally, they may provide a second opinion or refer you to an outside specialist when needed.

Purchasing Orthopedic Products at Kelmedix

As the #1 medical supply company in medical supply sales, Kelmedix is here to provide you with all of your orthopedic needs. At Kelmedix, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality medical supplies in the United States. With that being said, you can rest assured that the orthopedic products you purchase from our store will be safe, effective, and financially-sound.

If you, a loved one, or your medical company is in need of orthopedic medical supplies, shop at our online store today!