Tel: 021 930 2148
Fax: 021 930 5774
Cape Gate Mediclinic
Tel: 021 982 2422
Fax: 021 982 2322
Orthopaedic surgery is the medical discipline that specializes in the identification, diagnosis and treatment of injuries and disorders of bones, joints, tendons and muscles. Orthopaedic surgeons also provide rehabilitation for the affected area and/or establish prevention protocol to inhibit any further damage. Orthopaedics is derived from the Greek word "orthos" meaning to correct or straighten.
Orthopaedic surgeons tend to concentrate on certain fields of interest, often specializing in several areas. These are:
- Spinal surgery
- Upper limb surgery- mainly shoulder and elbow problems
- Hand surgery
- Pelvic surgery
- Hip and knee replacements - arthroplasty surgeons
- Knee surgery
- Foot and ankle surgery
- Childhood problems - Paediatric orthopaedics
- Tumour and infection surgery
Orthopaedic surgeons have many different techniques to repair fractures, deformities and disorders - if the condition of the patient and pathology permits. Each technique has specific pros and cons that your surgeon will take you through.
These techniques can be divided into:
As all doctors are told in training, we believe "primum non nocere" (first cause no harm). Wherever possible we use conservative treatments, consisting of splints, slings, plaster and the very latest in orthotic devices.
However as surgeons, we know that when necessary, appropriate surgery may give you a better outcome. This technique for more serious cases can be divided into:
- Open surgery: Involves an incision large enough to allow the surgeon access to the bone/joint.
- Minimally invasive surgery: Involves smaller incisions with special instruments used to slide or insert implants.
- Buttonhole/keyhole surgery: Refers to the use of tiny incisions and special cameras to treat the condition.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Upon visiting the Association of Bone and Joint Reconstructive Surgeons, you will have a detailed initial consultation and examination with your orthopaedic surgeon. Depending on your condition, you may be referred for an X-ray, sonar, CT scan, MRI scan or muscle/nerve studies - or a combination of the above.
If, together with your surgeon, it is decided that surgery is your best and most viable option, your operation is duly booked. Please be advised that more often than not, there is a waiting period for an opening on the theater list.
Physiotherapists, occupational therapists and biokineticists are oftentimes vital in the healing process. Your surgeon may prescribe sessions with a relevant therapist to assist with the critical pre and postoperative period, giving you the best chance of a full recovery and regained mobility.