Because pain and injuries of muscles, bones, joints, and connective tissues are one of the most common reasons to seek medical care in America, it’s no surprise that ortho surgeons are high-in-demand.
Ortho surgeons are medical doctors who have dedicated their careers to helping patients with musculoskeletal injuries and conditions feel better, move easily, and comfortably maintain an active lifestyle.
Let’s talk about what orthopedic surgeons really are and where you can find the best ortho surgeon in and around Little Rock.
What Orthopedic Surgeons Really Are?
Orthopedics is a vast, advanced medical specialty focused on treating and maintaining the health of the bodily system (called the musculoskeletal system) that helps you move and maintain your posture. The musculoskeletal system is a bodily system made up of muscles, bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and other connective tissues.
An ortho surgeon is a doctor who practices orthopedics. They provide diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the injuries and conditions of the musculoskeletal system to everyone – from a kid with scoliosis to a person with traumatic injuries.
It’s not uncommon for orthopedic surgeons to divide their time between outpatient clinic work and performing surgeries in the operation theater. This means ortho surgeons are not always eager to put you under the knife, but, firstly, they prioritize nonsurgical treatments such as medications, casting, bracing, PRP therapy, and physical therapy.
When it comes to education, ortho surgeons are medical doctors who complete approximately 14 years of education.
They obtain a four-year bachelor’s degree, pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), and then complete a residency program of 5 years focused on orthopedics. Following residency, they also complete fellow-ship training and specialize in their desired field, which can be:
- Foot and ankle
- Spinal surgery
- Trauma surgery
- Joint replacement surgery
- Sports medicine
- Hand surgery
- Shoulder surgery
- Orthopedic oncology
- Pediatric orthopedic surgery
After completing their education, they also pass an exam to receive a certificate from the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery or the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery, which (the certificate) they must maintain with continuous, life-long learning.
Since orthopedics has experienced a rapid change over the last several decades, an ortho surgeon stays current on the latest orthopedics techniques. They also possess strong interpersonal skills and empathy and maintain a strong sense of humility.
Ortho Surgeon in Little Rock
If you have an issue with your musculoskeletal system that is keeping you from living an active and healthy life, visit our board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. William Hefley for thorough evaluation and treatment. As one of the top surgeons in Arkansas, our ortho surgeon offers orthopedic care and sports medicine services to athletes, rodeo professionals, and people of all ages who have an orthopedic problem or sports injury.