Orthopedics, or orthopedic services, aim at the treatment of the musculoskeletal system.
This includes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
There can be many medical problems that can affect the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
• Bone deformities
• Bone infections
• Bone tumors
• Need for amputation
• Nonunions: failure of fractures to heal
• Malunions: fractures healing in a wrong position
• Spinal deformities
Joint problems may include:
• Joint pain
• Joint swelling or inflammation
• Ligament tears
CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME
Carpal tunnel syndrome is a condition in which there is excessive pressure on the median nerve.
This is the nerve in the wrist that allows feeling and movement to parts of the hand.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or muscle damage in the hand and fingers.
The median nerve provides feeling and movement to the thumb side of the hand. This includes the palm, thumb, index finger, middle finger, and thumb side of the ring finger.
The area in your wrist where the nerve enters the hand is called the carpal tunnel. This tunnel is normally narrow. Any swelling can pinch the nerve and cause pain, numbness, tingling or weakness. This is called carpal tunnel syndrome.
Some people who develop carpal tunnel syndrome were born with a small carpal tunnel.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can also be caused by making the same hand and wrist motion over and over. Using hand tools that vibrate may also lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.
Studies have not proved that carpal tunnel is caused by typing on a computer, using a mouse, or repeating movements while working, playing a musical instrument, or playing sports. But, these activities may cause tendinitis or bursitis in the hand, which can narrow the carpal tunnel and lead to symptoms.
Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs most often in people ages 30 to 60. It is more common in women than men.
Other factors that may lead to carpal tunnel syndrome include:
• Alcohol use
• Bone fractures and arthritis of the wrist
• Cyst or tumor that grows in the wrist
• If your body keeps extra fluids during pregnancy or menopause
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Diseases that have abnormal deposits of protein in the body (amyloidosis)
Nursemaid’s elbow is a dislocation of a bone in the elbow called the radius.
Dislocation means the bone slips out of its normal position.
The injury is also called radial head dislocation.
Nursemaid’s elbow is a common condition in young children, especially under age 5.
The injury occurs when a child is pulled up too hard by their hand or wrist. It is often seen after someone lifts a child up by one arm. This might occur, for example when trying to lift the child over a curb or high step.
Other ways this injury may happen include:
• Stopping a fall with the arm
• Rolling over in an unusual way
• Swinging a young child from their arms while playing
Once the elbow dislocates, it is likely to do so again, especially in the 3 or 4 weeks after the injury.
Nursemaid’s elbow does not usually occur after age 5. By this time, a child’s joints and the structures around it are stronger. Also, the child is less likely to be in a situation where this injury might occur. In some cases, the injury can happen in older children or adults, usually with a fracture of the forearm.
Bunion removal is surgery to treat deformed bones of the big toe and foot.
A bunion occurs when the big toe points toward the second toe, forming a bump on the inner side of the foot.
You will be given anesthesia (numbing medicine) so that you won’t feel pain.
• Local anesthesia — Your foot may be numbed with pain medicine. You may also be given medicines that relax you. You will stay awake.
• Spinal anesthesia — This is also called regional anesthesia. The pain medicine is injected into a space in your spine. You will be awake but will not be able to feel anything below your waist.
• General anesthesia — You will be asleep and pain-free.
The surgeon makes a cut around the toe joint and bones. The deformed joint and bones are repaired using pins, screws, plates, or a splint to keep the bones in place.
The surgeon may repair the bunion by:
• Making certain tendons or ligaments shorter or longer
• Taking out the damaged part of the joints and then using screws, wires, or a plate to hold the joint together so that they can fuse
• Shaving off the bump on the toe joint
• Removing the damaged part of the joint
• Cutting parts of the bones on each side of the toe joint, and then putting them in their proper position
Your doctor may recommend this surgery if you have a bunion that has not gotten better with other treatments, such as shoes with a wider toe box.
Bunion surgery corrects the deformity and relieves pain caused by the bump.
A broken arm involves one or more of the three bones in your arm — the ulna, radius and humerus. One of the most common causes of a broken arm is falling onto an outstretched hand. If you think you or your child has broken an arm, seek prompt medical attention. It’s important to treat a fracture as soon as possible for proper healing.
Treatment depends on the site and severity of the injury. A simple break might be treated with a sling, ice and rest. However, the bone may require realignment (reduction) in the emergency room.
A more complicated break might require surgery to realign the broken bone and to implant wires, plates, nails or screws to keep the bone in place during healing.
Common causes for a broken arm include:
• Falls. Falling onto an outstretched hand or elbow is the most common cause of a broken arm.
• Sports injuries. Direct blows and injuries on the field or court cause all types of arm fractures.
• Significant trauma. Any of your arm bones can break during a car accident, bike accident or other direct trauma.
• Child abuse. In children, a broken arm might be the result of child abuse.