Orthopaedics is a medical speciality that cares for diseases and malformations of the bones, muscles, ligaments and joints: elements that are associated with the musculoskeletal system. Traumatology is the medical speciality that deals with trauma to the musculoskeletal system.
In addition to trauma, there are various bone diseases, such as bone cancer, congenital dislocations and bone deformities, that require medical treatment. Herniated discs, which cause severe back pain, can be operated on by orthopaedic surgeons as well as neurosurgeons, depending on their training.
Another important area of activity in this speciality is in sport, where we see sports injuries with characteristics that are specific to each individual type of sport (one movement, one injury). Sports-related injuries involving the musculoskeletal system generally affect the muscles, tendons, joint capsules, ligaments and bones in a variety of ways and cause the athlete to stop engaging in sports activities indefinitely, depending on the severity of the injury.
Complex bone fractures with significant blood loss can result from accidents that occur in road vehicles, planes or even whilst at home. Fractures can be ‘closed’: in other words, there is a fracture, but the broken part does not penetrate the surface. It is therefore considered a clean fracture and can be aligned and immobilised with a cast.
Another type of fracture is the ‘open’ fracture, which occurs when it penetrates the surface in some way. One example would be a broken femur that punctures the skin and protrudes through the leg.
Whilst traumatology may appear to be the study of all types of trauma, it only deals with injuries to the bones, muscles and tendons of the upper and lower limbs, pelvis and spine.
Please consult a doctor if you have bone- or muscle-related questions, illnesses or a fracture.