Orthopedic Appliances And Their Interesting History

Orthopedics is a term that refers to the surgical specialty involving the treatment of various bone conditions and diseases. Although doctors have attempted to treat deformed or broken bones and associated diseases for several centuries, orthopedics as a modern specialty has primarily evolved throughout the 20th century. Orthopedic appliances are devices that are used to assist individuals with the aforementioned disorders to have a better quality of life.

The phrase orthopedics is actually two Greek words combined: orthos and paideia. Paideia refers to youngsters and ortho is a word that means to straighten. According to many experts, this is evidence that the first physicians who practiced orthopedics primarily worked on children, probably because of the latter’s tendency to experience broken bones.

The first orthopedic institution was established in 1780 by a physician named Jean-Andre Venel. The establishment dealt primarily with skeletal abnormalities in youngsters. Venel is regarded by certain individuals as the first surgeon in the field of orthopedics.

Orthopedics as a specialty in its own right was initially introduced by a French physician named Nicholas Andry at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Doctor Andry mainly treated children with bone deformities, but also devoted studies to restoring individuals with injured or broken bones to a healthy state. He also completed substantial research on the prevention of childhood bone abnormalities. Many individuals believe his studies brought about what is now referred to as the orthopedic specialty.

The first plaster of Paris cast was used in France in 1851, which was invented by Dutch military surgeon Antonius Mathysen. Gerhard Kuntscher of Germany pioneered the use of intramedullary rods to treat tibia and femur fractures. Such procedures made a significant difference in the recovery time of injured soldiers during World War II. Joint replacements were first introduced to the world in 1960 by English scientist Sir John Charnley, and by the mid 1980s such procedures were the most frequently performed orthopedic surgeries.

Today’s contemporary orthopedists focus on treating bone fractures and bone related disorders. Orthopedists also help patients who are suffering from sports injuries or arthritis. Although licensed and trained as surgeons, such individuals use both nonsurgical and surgical techniques, as well as teach preventative measures to their patients.

The American Orthopedics Review Board evaluates casework of all orthopedic surgeons for the purpose of obtaining statistical information. The most commonly performed bone surgery in 2008 was knee replacement surgery. This was followed by carpal tunnel procedures, cartilage surgery, also called shoulder and knee arthroscopy, and corrective surgery focusing on repairing thigh or hip fractures. The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States reported that in 2011, bone surgery was the most common procedure performed among all surgical specialties. Unfortunately, this may indicate that such disorders are occurring more often than in previous years.

Those in need of orthopedic appliances are wise to avail themselves of the services of a qualified, licensed professional. Although some devices of this kind can be bought without a prescription, speaking to a specialist prior to selecting such an item is in one’s best interest. Individuals suffering from joint or bone abnormalities or similar problems should seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner without delay.

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