American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery


What is Orthopaedics?

Orthopaedics is the broad based medical and surgical specialty dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system. The frequency and impact of these diseases and injuries combined with recent advances in their diagnosis and treatment make orthopaedics a critical part of health care.

All Board Certified orthopaedists are trained surgeons. Some may no longer perform surgery, but still treat patients. Other orthopaedic surgeons may hold research, teaching, or administrative positions and may or may not see patients.

The orthopaedic surgeon works with many other surgical and medical specialists. The areas of orthopaedic surgery include:

Pediatric Orthopaedics

Care of injuries, deformities, and diseases of the bones, joints, muscles, and tendons in children.

Sports Medicine

Treatment and prevention of injuries related to athletic activities.

Adult Reconstructive Surgery

Care of patients with advanced arthritis and other conditions affecting major joints, including medical treatment, joint replacement, and other procedures.

Foot and Ankle

Care of patients with injuries and diseases of the foot and ankle.

Hand surgery

Surgical and nonsurgical treatment of the hand and wrist.

Shoulder and Elbow

Care of diseases and injuries of the shoulder and elbow.


Surgical and nonsurgical treatment of deformities, injuries, and disorders of the back and neck.

Trauma and Fractures

Treatment of injuries to the bones, joints, muscles, tendons, nerves, and vessels in the arms, legs, back, and neck.

Musculoskeletal Oncology

Treatment of benign and malignant tumors of bones, joints, and muscles.


Short- and long-term programs to improve strength and mobility and to optimize recovery.


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