An Orthopedic surgeon is a physician trained to treat patients with ailments that concerns the tendons, ligaments, bones, joints, and muscles in the body, they treat a variety of ailments, from broken arms to artificial hips. They specialize in diagnosing, treating and repairing injuries, disorders and diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system.
The orthopedic surgeon are trained with the state of the art equipment and techniques that helps with the treatment of various type of ailments associated with the tendons, ligaments, bones, joints, and muscles in the body. Like it is with most medical specialty, the orthopedic doctor is classified as a general orthopedic surgeon or specialized surgeons. The specialized orthopedic surgeons focus on one aspect, this can be spinal, hip or any other special parts of the tendons, ligaments, bones, joints, and muscles. Some orthopedic doctors specialize in sports medicine.
Orthopedic Surgeon Salary
The salary of an orthopedic surgeon varies and it is mostly determined by the industry or scope of work, sports orthopedic surgeons may earn more than their counterparts in a regular hospital. Other factors that determine earning include age, location, skills, reputation, training and employer.
An average salary of $222,000 is reported to be the pay most orthopedic surgeon earn has salary. Orthopedic surgeons who work in the sports industry earn as much as $ 650,000, with a likely increase in demand for the services of an orthopedic surgeon due to old age – rheumatoid arthritis and increase in extreme activities.
While some orthopedic surgeons may go home with $800,000 as salary per annum, the salary of a general orthopedic surgeon is $514,659 in some areas. They are paid up to $2100 per hour, this accumulates to a large amount due to the long hours they work.
Different countries have ranges of pay for the orthopedic surgeons, one factor that actually determines how well they are paid in most countries is the demand for their services. UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa all have different pay packages.
Orthopedic Surgeon Job Description
An orthopedic surgeon is a medical doctor that specializes in treating injuries or conditions that affect your skeletal system. In addition to treating the bones they also treat the various tissues like joints, tendons, and ligaments and surrounding muscles that are attached to your bones and the nerves in that area.
Orthopedic surgeons attend to non-surgical orthopedic issues, some of their work does not need surgery.
- Fractures and dislocations
- Torn ligaments, sprains, and strains
- Tendon injuries, pulled muscles, and bursitis
- Ruptured disks, sciatica, low back pain, and scoliosis
- Knock knees, bow legs, bunions, and hammer toes
- Arthritis and osteoporosis
- Bone tumors, muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy
- Club foot and unequal leg length
- Abnormalities of the fingers and toes and growth abnormalities
Orthopedic surgeons often are required to take some call during some nights and weekends depending on the arrangement of the hospital with which they are affiliated. If they do a lot of trauma related orthopedic surgery, or specialize in trauma, they may have a higher volume or frequency of on-call duties.
Orthopedic Education and Training
To study as an orthopedic surgeon you will have to complete an undergraduate degree with science courses in chemistry, biology and physics taken. This is called pre-med courses in some quarters, there is an entrance examination for the medical school program called MCAT.
The duration of study in the medical school is 4 years, the first two years training is focused on general medical courses, while the last two years is focused on the core orthopedic specialization. This may involve clinical rotation from time to time, after completing the medical board exams, you may proceed for a 4 to 5 years residency program where you can also study for your fellowship program. Board certified exams are taken to complete the residency program.
A fellowship program may require up to two years after residency, this usually lead to sub-specialty in sports, hip, spinal or pediatric orthopedics. Continuous training is required and licenses are renewed every 10 years, so to remain relevant exams conducted by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery must be passed.