The human body is a masterpiece of intricate systems, processes and spectacular design. However, it’s also susceptible to diseases and injuries. While the human body has an amazing ability to heal itself, some of these conditions require professional intervention and support. Luckily, knowledge and technology have improved exponentially over the last couple of decades, leading to cutting-edge healthcare solutions for the majority of patients. General orthopaedics, a specialisation within healthcare, is no exception, and modern techniques allow us to address so many more conditions in increasingly less invasive ways.
What is general orthopaedics?
General orthopaedics refers to a medical speciality that focuses on the diagnosis, care, treatment conditions and injuries affecting the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system includes the skin, muscles, joints, bones, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. Many of these are involved with movement. The ability to be mobile is an important function for humans, as it allows us to move around and perform the tasks we need to or want to without challenge.
As such, the scope of conditions and treatments related to general orthopaedics is expansive. While certainly not an exhaustive list, the following conditions are all treated relative frequently by doctors who specialise in this field of healthcare:
- Sprains and strains
- Torn ligaments
- Fractures (broken or cracked bones)
- Pulled muscles
- Tendon injuries
- Lower back pain
- Ruptured disks
- Cerebral palsy
- Uneven leg length
- Club foot
- Knock knees
- Bow legs
- Hammer toes
- Muscular dystrophy
- Bone tumors
- Growth abnormalities of the fingers and toes
The treatment or care related to general orthopaedics can also vary greatly. The main categories of treatment include:
- Medical treatment: Using medication to treat symptoms like pain, or condition like inflammation.
- Surgical intervention: Such as arthroscopy or arthroplasty of joints.
- Rehabilitation: This can include the treatment of conditions such as knock knees or bow legs.
- Physical therapy: This is often used for the healthy recovery of sprains, strains and torn ligaments.
Pretoria Hip, Knee and Shoulder Surgeons: The trusted experts in general orthopaedics
When it comes to hip, knee and shoulder pain, we have earned a reputation for delivering advanced treatments that effectively address the issue at hand This positive reputation has resulted in our consulting rooms in Pretoria becoming a major referral centre for patients both from this country and from abroad.
In addition to providing state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment approaches, Dr Jan De Vos is also committed to remaining abreast of the latest translational and clinical research to ensure the absolute best for his patients. While experienced in general orthopaedics, he specifically specialises in hip, knee and shoulder pathology in patients older than 10 years, and is proficient in performing surgical procedures such as arthroscopic surgery and arthroplasty surgery.
- Arthroscopic surgery: This procedure is used both for the diagnosis and the treatment of joint-related issues. It only requires a small incision, through which a fibre-optic video camera attached to a narrow tube is inserted into the joint area. This provides the surgeon with a visual of the joint to detect the probable cause. The tube can also contain minute surgical implements that can be used to perform certain procedures without the need for open surgery.
- Arthroplasty surgery: This is the surgery that most of us know as a joint (hip, knee, shoulder) replacement to restore the functionality of the joint in question. This is done either by resurfacing the bones in the joint, or by replacing the joint with an artificial (prosthetic) joint.
Elected as the President of the South African Orthopaedic Association (SAOA) in 2014, and serving as the elected President of the South African Arthroplasty Society since 2017, Dr Jan de Vos is the go-to authority in this field of surgery. In fact, he is also the co-author of the Guidelines for Hip and Knee Arthroplasty in South Africa, and the founder of the South African National Joint Registry (SANJR). The SANJR is a database of orthopaedic surgeries performed in South Africa. It helps policy-makers and doctors to better understand which products are used, and what happens before, during, and after the surgery.
For more information on general orthopaedics, or to find out more about how to get a referral to the offices of Pretoria Hip, Knee and Shoulder Surgeons, contact our office.