Because it encompasses so many different types of conditions and injuries, the area of orthopedics accounts for a significant sector of the medical field. According to the American Academy for Orthopedic Surgeons, the field makes up 14% of the total health care industry. Orthopedic specialists treat all sorts of musculoskeletal conditions, including common conditions such as arthritis, back pain and knee injuries. While the field encompasses treatment of all of the body’s bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves and tendons, top orthopedic docs usually specialize in one of the following areas:
- Sports Medicine
- Shoulder and Elbow
- Foot and Ankle
- Hand and Wrist
- Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
- Orthopaedic Oncology
- Trauma & Orthopaedic Fracture Care
When you search for a well-respected, experienced physician in the orthopedic field, you will want to get some information about their educational background and certifications. In addition, the best physicians in their fields are also board certified or board eligible (in the process of being certified). This prestigious certification should offer a seal of confidence for patients, as it indicates that the doctor has been through a thorough peer-reviewed process and has passed both an oral and written exam.
What kind of continuing education/recertification have they pursued? Are they board certified? Have they pursued recertification? Do they attend seminars, conferences and continued training to stay up to date with the latest advancements in their field?