Trauma & Orthopaedics Research Charity
Trauma and Orthopaedics involves a wide range of conditions that can affect what we call the musculoskeletal system. This includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves. All the things that help us move.
Elective orthopaedics incorporates both planned procedures and other treatments. Perhaps the best known are new hips and knees to replace worn joints but these only account for one third of what is done. The modern hips and knees that we use will last over 20 years in most patients and often transform lives. We can now replace almost every joint and although people of any age can be considered, most are over 60.
Orthopaedics also includes keyhole procedures on many joints including the wrist, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle. It’s not just work with arms and legs, spinal procedures are common and include straightening the spine in children with curves (the word ‘orthopaedic’ actually comes from the Greek word meaning straight child!)
The word trauma simply means injury and can range from a broken bone from a simple fall (often in elderly patients) or sporting mishap to multiple injuries such as those caused by a road traffic accident. Bone and joint infection can also require emergency admission and treatment.
Common procedures include repair of a broken bone using metal screws, pins, rods or plates to fix the break. Many different techniques are used depending on the location, severity and type of break to ensure that the bones are put back into place, heal correctly and will hopefully work normally again. Many injuries require a lot of hard work and rehabilitation to help the patient get back to normal.
So as you can see orthopaedic and trauma staff treat patients of all ages from small babies to some of our patients who are now over 100.