Orthopaedic Traumatology By Abigail George
Orthopaedic traumatology refers to the orthopaedic care of patients with difficult or complex fractures, nonunions (the failure of a fractured bone to heal normally) and malunions (incomplete healing or healing in a bad position).
Orthopaedic trauma is severe injury to part of the musculoskeletal system such as bone, joint or ligaments. Leading causes of orthopaedic trauma include vehicular and industrial accidents,
slips, falls or sports injuries.
People of all ages can be affected by a traumatic injury. These injuries can be complex to treat and may involve multiple parts of the body. Surgeons specially trained in orthopaedic trauma, can quickly and accurately assess and establish a diagnosis and initiate treatment to maximize function. Surgeons rely on their knowledge, training, and experience to choose the appropriate course of treatment. When your bones do not heal as expected, surgeons have experience in handling potentially complex and a sometimes life-threatening situation.
Most traumatic injuries are non-fatal or life threatening. They have the potential to create
long-term and permanent disability. The quicker a diagnosis and recovery treatment plan can be implemented, the quicker a patient can recover.
Orthopaedic trauma management differs from treatment of less complicated or isolated fractures as surgery is often required. Preventative actions can minimize trauma injuries as a result of
slips, falls or sports injuries. Although orthopaedic physicians would rather treat injuries with non-surgical methods such as physical therapy, in the case of trauma, surgical treatment often ensures a more complete recovery, and allows for restoring function more quickly.
In the field of orthopaedic medicine, trauma or orthopaedic trauma is categorized as a severe injury to the elements of the musculoskeletal system (muscles, joints, ligaments, bones, and soft tissue). These injuries are life-altering. These trauma surgeons often treat patients with multiple broken bones and fractures near a joint, like a hip, knee, or shoulder. These fractures can occur to anyone, at any time.
The treatment of a fracture focuses on restoring function as quickly and as fully as possible. Some fractures can heal on their own. Some need to be treated surgically for optimal outcomes. Orthopaedic trauma surgeons are able to follow their patients through all stages of recovery, and will refer their patients to other specialists when needed. By maintaining open communication
with all providers, they are able to ensure each patient receives the comprehensive care needed to assume their active lifestyle.
Trauma injuries include fractures (joints and bones), fragility fractures from osteoporosis or metabolic bone disease, dislocations, amputations, nonunion and malunion (problems with healing and healing with poor alignment).
Orthopaedic trauma and fractures are a very serious and delicate injury to treat, so you need the best board-certified orthopaedic surgeons on your side. There are many difficult orthopaedic
conditions which include the following. Complex peri-articular (surrounding the joint) fractures, pelvis and acetabular fractures, post-traumatic deformity, nonunions and malunions, infections which are bacterial in nature are a common source of musculoskeletal abnormalities, open fractures and fragility fractures.
Acetabular is the part of the pelvis that forms the hip joint. Acetabular trauma is damage to the socket of the hip joint but is different from hip fractures. A post-traumatic deformity is a change
in musculoskeletal shape or form after a trauma, injury or illness. Most open fractures are severe injuries to the bone and are emergencies. If the fracture penetrates the skin, there is a high risk of infection. Fragility fractures are due to osteoporosis and pathological fractures as a result of
abnormalities of the bone, e.g. bone softening or cancer.
Multiply injured patients with fractures are co-managed by acute care surgeons and orthopaedic surgeons. The acute care surgeons should have an understanding of the composition of bone, periosteum, and cartilage, and their reaction when there is an injury.