Types of Surgeries Performed by Orthopedic Doctors

Orthopedic Doctors

Five Common Surgeries Conducted by Orthopedic Doctors

By vocation, orthopedic doctors provide medical treatment for a vast amount of the human anatomy. Since they specialize in the musculoskeletal system, that means that they are trained in treating anything involving bones, ligaments, joints, tendons, and muscles. Most of the time, if you’re seeing an orthopedic doctor, it’s because you’ve developed joint or bone pain somewhere in your body either due to age or physical activity.

In the majority of cases involving joint or bone pain, an orthopedic doctor will put the patient on a recovery plan that involves one or a combination of rest, heat/ice therapy, behavioral changes intended to relieve the pain, over-the-counter medication, physical therapy, and prescription-only medication (in severe cases of pain). If the aforementioned treatment methods fail, then that means the patient is dealing with a medical issue that can likely only be dealt with via surgery. For the uninitiated, there are five main types of surgeries performed by orthopedic doctors.

Soft Tissue Surgery  

As the name implies, soft tissue surgery is any surgery involving bodily tissue such as the skin, muscles, or tendons. As an example, an orthopedic doctor would perform soft tissue surgery in the case of a torn ligament or tendon in an effort to repair it.

Full or Partial Joint Replacement Surgery

Over time, joints can eventually start to wear down. Specifically, the ends of your bones that connect to joints will deteriorate, which can lead to pain and decreased mobility. Although this is common “wear and tear,” orthopedic doctors are able to perform full and/or partial joint replacement surgeries so that patients don’t have to live with the pain. Some examples of joint replacement surgeries include total knee replacement, patellofemoral replacement, anatomic shoulder replacement, and so forth.

Revision Joint Surgery

If an existing implant has failed or otherwise malfunctioned, then it may be necessary for an orthopedic doctor to perform revision joint surgery in order to remedy the issue. Revision joint surgeries are typically required for those that received their implants many years prior. The implant may simply be old and need to be replaced with an updated one.  

Arthroscopic Surgery

This is a minimally-invasive type of surgery that uses an arthroscope, which is a small camera that is inserted into the affected joint through an incision. Compared to a traditional open surgery, arthroscopic surgery uses much smaller instruments and usually affords patients less downtime, reduced complications, and far less scarring. Arthroscopic surgery is a highly popular surgical option and is often employed by orthopedic surgeons for any of the following bone or joint problems.

Shoulder issues: rotator cuff tear, dislocation, labral tear, SLAP tear, subacromial impingement, nerve impingement, bicep tendon injury, AC separation, cartilage lesions.

Knee issues: ACL tear, meniscal tear, ligament injury, patellar dislocation, cartilage lesions, dislocation.

Hip issues: labral tear, snapping hip syndrome, cartilage lesions, FAI impingement.

Arthroscopic surgery is also used for the treatment of smaller joints, such as the elbows or ankles, for issues such as stiffness, lesions, or osteophyte removal.


In some cases, a bone can be deformed or otherwise misshaped, which will cause poor alignment and pain/discomfort. Osteotomy – which literally means “cutting of the bone” – is performed by orthopedic doctors to correct the issue by cutting and reshaping the bone so that it’s properly aligned. In the case of osteotomy on the knee, the procedure will effectively shift weight away from the affected knee over to the healthy knee, thereby improving overall mobility.

Are You Suffering with Joint Pain? Contact Your Local Orthopedic Doctor Today!

If you are currently suffering with joint pain that has not resolved itself through rest and other types of at-home therapy, then it may be high time to contact an orthopedic doctor so that you can get a real evaluation of the issue conducted by a professional. The easiest way to start is by Googling the term “orthopedic doctor near me,” which should bring up everyone in your local area that is capable of diagnosing your joint pain or bone issue.

Orthopedic doctors can perform any type of surgery required for musculoskeletal issues that you may have incurred from physical activity, aging, or illness. However, more often than not, orthopedic doctors are able to provide a treatment plan that can avoid that. The best way to find out what type of treatment you need is by contacting your local orthopedic doctor today and setting up a consultation.

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