The musculoskeletal system is an intricate arrangement of muscles, bones, joints, and connective tissues. When any of these components are damaged or not functioning properly, specialized medical attention is necessary for proper care and recovery. That's why Orthopedics is one of the most important branches of medicine.
When someone has an orthopedic condition–or, for that matter, anything involving their bones, joints, ligaments, or muscles–they should seek medical care from someone who specializes in orthopedics. But that’s not the only thing to consider when selecting a healthcare provider. In order to receive the best care possible, patients should consider seeing an orthopedic specialist, an orthopedic surgeon, or an orthopedic doctor who has the experience and training to respond to their specific needs.
In this blog, follow along as we explain the differences between these three professionals so that you can determine which one you should visit.
An orthopedic specialist is a qualified medical provider who has completed a residency in orthopedic surgery or a fellowship in orthopedics. Orthopedic specialists are highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions and diseases, and they are often the first point of contact for patients who are experiencing orthopedic-related issues. They typically focus on the muscular and skeletal issues that arise from conditions or injuries, and they can provide both non-surgical and surgical treatment options.
An orthopedic surgeon is a physician who has been trained and certified to perform orthopedic surgery. Orthopedic surgeons are highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions, injuries, and diseases, and they are often called on to perform complex surgeries to correct orthopedic issues. Orthopedic surgeons typically work in partnership with orthopedic specialists to identify and diagnose general issues, and then provide more targeted, surgical treatments when necessary.
An orthopedic surgeon may not be considered an orthopedic specialist, as they are trained in a general medical field. They are, however, highly trained and certified to perform surgical procedures on the musculoskeletal system. In other words, while they’re trained to perform musculoskeletal procedures, they may not be a specialist because they may not have the same level of expertise in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal conditions.
An orthopedic doctor is any qualified physician who specializes in the musculoskeletal system. This could be an orthopedic specialist, an orthopedic surgeon, or a general practitioner who has a focus on the musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic doctors are qualified in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions and can provide both non-surgical and surgical treatment options.
It depends on the qualifications of the individual orthopedic doctor. Orthopedic specialists and orthopedic surgeons are qualified and licensed to perform surgery, while general practitioners who specialize in orthopedics may not be certified to perform more complex surgery. In cases of more serious orthopedic conditions, a patient may need to be referred to an orthopedic surgeon for further evaluation and treatment.
Yes, a person can be all three. A person can be qualified as an orthopedic specialist, an orthopedic surgeon, and an orthopedic doctor. An individual with this type of knowledge and experience can provide orthopedic care that’s truly comprehensive and is likely the best choice for a person dealing with a serious or complex orthopedic condition.
Orthopedic specialists should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions and diseases. Orthopedic specialists are typically the first point of contact for any orthopedic health issues, and they are skilled in both non-surgical and surgical treatments. If someone is experiencing pain, discomfort, or other issues in their musculoskeletal structure, they should see an orthopedic specialist for an evaluation.
An orthopedic surgeon should be consulted in cases where more complex or targeted surgical interventions may be necessary. Orthopedic surgeons are more specialized than orthopedic specialists, and they are more skilled in providing targeted treatments such as hip and knee replacement surgeries. If an orthopedic specialist has identified an issue that requires a more specialized approach, they may refer the patient to an orthopedic surgeon.
An orthopedic doctor should be consulted for any general health issues related to the musculoskeletal system. This could be a general practitioner who specializes in orthopedics or an orthopedic specialist or surgeon. An orthopedic doctor is qualified to diagnose and treat any issues related to the musculoskeletal system, and they can provide both non-surgical and surgical treatments as needed.
At the Comprehensive Spine Center of Dallas, we’re a top rated orthopedic medical center for a reason. We strive to provide our patients with the highest level of orthopedic care, and are proud to staff some of the best orthopedic doctors in Dallas, many of whom are also specialists and surgeons.
Our doctors have a world-class level of expertise regarding the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic conditions and diseases, as well as a high level of skill in performing complex orthopedic surgical procedures. We also provide comprehensive treatment options and work in partnership with physical therapists and other specialists to provide the best possible care.
If you or someone you know needs comprehensive orthopedic care in Dallas, give us a call today to experience the best that Dallas orthopedics has to offer!