Founded in 1965, the Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation is a national registered charity powered by a professional staff and network of over 300 volunteers. The Foundation is Canada’s only health charity dedicated solely to helping people maintain and restore their bone and joint, or orthopaedic, health.
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Orthopaedics is the branch of surgery devoted to treating a wide variety of injuries and disorders in children and adults pertaining to the skeleton and its supporting muscles.
Your bones provide the structural frame for your skeleton, protect your internal organs, anchor muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints for movement, store calcium and produce blood cells.
Healthy bones are dependent on a healthy lifestyle, but being active may also mean injury.
The majority of musculoskeletal problems are never seen by an orthopaedic surgeon. Usually your family doctor or a physiotherapist will manage your injuries or disorders. In fact 60 percent of people with orthopaedic complaints only seek attention from their family physicians. 1
And a greater majority of people never seek attention and hope that their symptoms will go away.
When major injuries or disorders occur, it is likely your family physician or the attending physician in emergency, will refer you to an orthopaedic surgeon. Some examples of such injuries or disorders:
- joint destruction because of arthritis and fractures resulting from osteoporosis;
- trauma resulting from industrial and motor-vehicle accidents and sports injuries;
- spinal deformities (scoliosis of the spine) and other inherited skeletal deformities;
- neuromuscular conditions (such as cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, para- and quadraplegia)
- bone disorders (such as avascular necrosis)
There are many options for dealing with musculoskeletal problems. Learn about all your options before considering surgery. Surgery is more invasive and complicated than any other treatment.
1 Sundararajan, V., Konrad, T. R., Garrett, J., & Carey, T. (1998). Patterns and determinants of multiple provider use in patients with acute low back pain. J.Gen.Intern.Med., 13, 528-533.