Orthopaedic concerned with correction of deformities or
functional impairments of the skeletal system,
especially the extremities and the spine, and associated structures, as muscles and ligaments
the branch of surgery concerned with disorders of the spine and joints and
the repair of deformities of these parts.
In the United States, orthopedic surgeons have typically completed four years of
undergraduate education and four years of medical school.
Subsequently, these medical school graduates undergo residency training in orthopedic surgery.
The five-year residency is a categorical orthopedic surgery training.
Selection for residency training in orthopedic surgery is very competitive.
Approximately 700 physicians complete orthopedic residency training per year in the United States.
About 10 percent of current orthopedic surgery residents are women; about 20 percent are members of minority groups.
There are approximately 20,400 actively practicing orthopedic surgeons and residents in the United States
Many developments in orthopedic surgery have resulted from experiences during wartime.
On the battlefields of the Middle Ages the injured were treated with bandages soaked in horses’ blood which dried
to form a stiff, but unsanitary, splint.
Originally, the term orthopedics meant the correcting of musculoskeletal deformities in children.
Nicolas Andry, a French professor at the University of Paris coined the term in the first textbook written on the subject in 1741.
He advocated the use of exercise, manipulation and splinting to treat deformities in children.
His book was directed towards parents, and while some topics would be familiar to orthopedists today,
it also included ‘excessive sweating of the palms’ and freckles.
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