Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedic Surgeon

Most people have back pain at some point, but if the problem becomes persistent or debilitating, it may be time to see an orthopedic surgeon. These physicians specialize in bones, joints and muscles. They can help you manage your pain and return to an active lifestyle.

A doctor who specializes in orthopedics has gone through extensive education and practice to become board-certified. The process usually begins with four years of undergraduate education and four years in medical school where a professional earns a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. Then, he or she must complete a five-year residency program, which includes specialized training in orthopedic surgery.

Understanding Orthopedic Specialists: The Role of an Orthopaedic Surgeon

In addition to completing a residency, many orthopedists choose to further sub-specialize in a particular area of orthopedic medicine by completing an accredited fellowship. Look for this information on a physician’s online profile or ask about his or her sub-specialty during your consultation.

After completing his or her fellowship, an orthopedic specialist can be board-certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS), the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery (AOBOS) or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. These certifications show that a doctor has passed a written test and oral exam.

The main goal of an orthapedic surgeon is to relieve pain and return patients to a full range of movement, says Dr. Garbis. Often, he or she will prescribe a combination of medications, physical therapy and exercises to ease the pain and prevent recurrences.

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