3 Types of Orthopedic Doctors

The skeleton is a central structure in the body. Unfortunately, once diseases and conditions attack this system, there are far-reaching problems. Orthopedic doctors specialize in treating and correcting problems and conditions related to the skeletal system and the connected muscle tissues. This field of medicine has many areas of specialization. So, it is crucial to know the different types of orthopedic doctors. Here are three of them.

Sports Medicine Experts

When you read the word sports, the first thing that probably came to your mind is athletes. You are not wrong. However, sports medicine covers more than athletes. It involves many injuries that you can incur when participating in sports, at work, during exercise, or even when doing house chores. When you need any surgery related to joints, elbow surgery, or shoulder surgery, this is the kind of surgeon you might need. Sports orthopedic doctors are highly trained in diagnosing an injury quickly and recommending the right treatment. The treatment must involve pain reduction to help the patient get back to sports or work. 

In short, sports medicine orthopedics are specifically trained to diagnose, treat and prevent injuries. Mostly, they travel with other sports professionals for this job. The main job of such specialists is to help extend the performance of expert athletes. They repair elbows, shoulders, knees, and hip injuries.

Pediatric Orthopedic Doctors

As the name suggests, pediatric orthopedic deal with pediatric patients with musculoskeletal problems. They can treat any injury in the body related to the skull, the base, hands, and feet. In short, pediatric orthopedics treat kids and adolescents with skeletal problems such as cerebral palsy, sports injuries, bone deformities, and conditions that limit mobility. Remember, pediatric bones are smaller and fragile. Thus, they require a higher level of surgical skills.

General Orthopedic Surgeons

General orthopedic specialists treat both simple and complicated skeletal diseases and conditions. Such include joint dislocation, arthritis, and others. Mostly, orthopedic surgeons use conservative treatment methods. However, when need be, they can also perform surgery. Surgery is a vital role of an orthopedic doctor that needs the mastery of the skeletal system and the related muscle tissues. This kind of surgeon must have at least one year of training in conditions related to pediatric orthopedics. Type of surgeries this specialist performs include epiphysiodesis, bone shortening and lengthening, and open corrective surgery.

Becoming an orthopedic specialist requires four years of training in a medical school, at least 5 years in orthopedic residency training, and other related experiences. General orthopedics can perform both sports medicine and pediatric surgeries.


From the details above, it is clear that orthopedic doctors work with fragile patients. Therefore, there is a need for a high level of expertise and training in the musculoskeletal system. Specialists in this field must have enough knowledge and skills to diagnose, treat and prevent musculoskeletal issues. Therefore, if you need a surgeon or orthopedic, it is imperative to know the available types. This will help you to know which one you will need for your problems. On the other hand, if you want to become an orthopedic specialist, know what one does and get to your suitable specialty.