There are many reasons why anyone would want to go to the doctor. Chances are that you’ve been to one for a diverse number of reasons already– for illnesses from simple fevers to a more serious illness, or perhaps some injuries that need to be treated. Perhaps you’ve needed to go to the doctor because you need a medical check-up done on your person. Whichever reason you may have, it’s common knowledge that there are specialists that you can consult if you have ailments that affect specific parts of your entire body.
If you’ve ever had problems with joint and muscle pains, injuries relating to any part of your bones or muscles, or sicknesses or conditions affecting them, then you’re just one of many people who have had or need to have orthopaedic care from an orthopaedist.
And if you’re confused as to what an orthopaedist is, don’t fret. It may easily be one of the less-understood but more important branches of medicine out there. Let’s take a closer look at what it is and how orthopaedic clinics help us combat many conditions and issues with proper treatment and care for our bodies.
A short guide to orthopaedics
Simply put, orthopaedics is the branch of medicine that is concerned with the treatment, diagnosis, prevention, and rehabilitation of the musculoskeletal system. Your musculoskeletal system is a complex structure that is made up of the parts of the body that help you move around. This not only includes the vital bones and muscles, but also the tendons, ligaments, joints, and other parts. It serves as the foundation for the rest of your body and allows you to do many activities.
If you lead a healthy and active lifestyle, it’s hard to imagine why you would ever need to go to the doctor for orthopaedic issues. But orthopaedics is important to everyone, not just people with conditions (though of course, they’re important to them too). It plays an important part in sports medicine, because outgoing athletes need to look after their bodies well. It helps the average person too, who may suffer unfortunate accidents and damage this part of their body. Conditions such as arthritis is a common ailment that many people go through in their lifetime.
No matter what kind of person you are, whether you’re an active individual, someone who has a lifelong condition, someone suffering from an illness or injury, or just a regular person, the branch of orthopedics will be of value to you someday.
The field of orthopaedics, is a very broad study as it contains many parts of the musculoskeletal condition. That’s why you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that many orthopaedists choose a specialization and that there are many “types” of doctors offering orthopaedic care. Take a careful look at what kind of orthopaedist you need: Do you need more of a generalist, to identify and diagnose the kind of issue you may have? Or do you need more of a specialist, who can give you more in-depth care? Some orthopaedists specialize in certain parts of the body, like the shoulders, elbows, knees, hips, and more.
In the case of Specialist Orthopaedic Centre, we treat musculoskeletal conditions relating to the foot, knee, and ankle. Which begs the question: how are the services that Specialist Orthopaedic Centre provides different from that of a foot doctor, or podiatrists?
Orthopaedics for the foot vs Podiatry
Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in the treatment of all kinds of foot ailments and issues. They are highly knowledgeable in conditions relating to the foot and ankle, and like orthopaedic surgeons, can perform necessary surgical procedures for the patient. Podiatrists study medicine relating to or specifically involving the feet, and their specialties may include foot conditions outside those of the musculoskeletal system.
Orthopaedists, on the other hand, may look at the same issue but have a wildly different approach. They may focus on the foot or ankle, but oftentimes they have more general knowledge pertaining to the entire musculoskeletal system as well. They can perform similar procedures to podiatrists and address the same issues as they do, such as hammertoe, bunions, arthritis and more.
So what’s the difference?
The better question to ask may be, “so which is better?” And to that, the answer is… well, it depends. There’s a significant overlap between podiatry and orthopaedics. Orthopaedists have a better background on general medicine and bone conditions, while podiatrists are more specialized with feet. Podiatrists may refer you to an orthopaedist or vice versa. At the end of the day, you should always go with the physician you are most comfortable with and who you are confident can address all your concerns.
Need help with foot, ankle, or knee issues? Visit Specialist Orthopaedic Centre, a clinic in Singapore that specializes in addressing orthopaedic issues in the foot. Visit our site and book an appointment today.