As the field of medicine evolves, the scope of knowledge about the human body, how it works, and how to keep it healthy expands exponentially. That’s why there are specialties like internal medicine, gynecology, pediatrics, and so on.
These branches of medicine often become quite complex as research and medical knowledge accumulate, and so there are further branches. These sub-specialties may take on separate identities. Obstetrics and Gynecology both deal with women’s reproductive health, though obstetrics focuses on the pregnancy cycle. These branches remain closely related, though, and medical practitioners in this field are called doctors of obstetrics and gynecology.
The field of orthopaedics
Orthopaedics, in general, deals with the musculoskeletal system of the human body. That is, your bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, everything that supports your ability to move. A general orthopaedic surgeon could set broken bones anywhere in your body as well as other injuries or disorders that affect the mechanics of your body and its movement.
Just as with other branches of medicine, orthopaedics has its own sub-specialties. However, unlike the OB/GYN example above, through the quirks of language, these branches off the main limb of orthopaedics often share similar names, if the sub-specialty is distinguished at all.
For example, an orthopaedic surgeon may choose to focus their practice on a specific part of your body, perhaps a single joint, such as the knee or shoulder. Unlike some other branches of medicine, though, this specialist is still referred to as an orthopaedic physician or surgeon, without a special designation to identify the specialty. Also, such specialization doesn’t restrict the doctor from work outside their specialty.
The term “trauma” typically describes a serious or life-threatening injury or condition, something that requires urgent intervention or treatment. An example of a general trauma surgeon might be a doctor you see in an emergency department after an accident. Their role is to identify and treat trauma injuries that immediately threaten the lives of their patients.
An orthopaedic trauma specialist, such as Dr. Eric Johnson, deals specifically with orthopaedic injuries resulting from accidents or other forms of trauma. In many cases, orthopaedics issues aren’t immediately life-threatening, but they may create complications if not treated promptly and effectively.
For example, a car accident victim could have complex fractures, with bones broken through the skin. If they have internal bleeding, too, this could represent an immediate danger to their lives. In terms of life-saving priority, the broken bones are a secondary concern.
However, bones protruding through skin represent a potential risk. As well, delayed treatment of the fractures themselves could have an impact on the patient’s mobility. So, while not immediately life-threatening, the orthopaedic trauma could still have serious impact on the patient’s life in the future.
Orthopaedic trauma physician
You may choose an orthopaedic trauma physician because of the general nature of their training. Rather than specializing in a part of the body, these doctors can treat virtually any orthopaedic trauma injury, no matter where it’s located.
In addition, their training and experience familiarizes them with the types of injuries caused by falls, accidents, or other traumatic events. Typically, the orthopaedic trauma physician works with you through to healing of your particular injury to assure that you heal as expected, as quickly as possible.
Should you require orthopaedic trauma care to regain mobility, contact Eric E. Johnson, MD in Los Angeles. Call the office directly, or request a consultation using the online booking tool today.