Adult orthopedic reconstructive surgery is the medical specialty devoted to the surgical care or replacement of damaged joints in adults. Most commonly, this care focuses on the hip and knee, but it can also be used to treat joints such as the shoulder or ankle. Some adult orthopedic reconstructive surgeons specialize on only one part of the body, such as the hip.
The most common cause of joint damage treated by adult orthopedic reconstructive surgeon is arthritis. Other joint issues often seen involve cartilage and ligament tears, autoimmune disorders, and orthopedic complications due to diabetes or cancer.
Some of the procedures that may be performed by an adult orthopedic reconstructive surgeon include:
- Joint replacement, also known as arthroplasty
- Meniscal repair, fixing a torn piece of cartilage in the knee
- Osteotomy, surgery to shorten, lengthen, or straighten a bone
- Arthroscopy, a kind of minimally invasive joint surgery using a hollow tube called an endoscope
- Resurfacing bones to improve the function of a joint
Even if a bone or joint is damaged, adult orthopedic reconstructive surgeons may have medical treatments available that can help patients avoid or delay surgery. Whether treatment is medical or surgical, their end goal is to help patients move freely and comfortably.