Orthopaedic medicine is a specialized branch of medicine which, in addition to the broad practice of medicine, includes that branch of surgery which is specially concerned with the preservation and restoration of the function of the skeletal system, its articulation and associated structures. Physicians specializing in this filed are called Orthopaedic Surgeons, or Orthopaedists. This specialty is referred to as orthopaedics, also spelled "orthopedics" (pronounced or-tho-pe'diks). The origin is the Greek words orthos meaning straight, and pais - child, and paideia- referring to the rearing of children. Orthopaedist - A doctor of medicine (M.D.) who is a specialists in the study of Orthopaedics. The Orthopaedist treat not only acute bone trauma-associated injuries, but also assists the patient with chronic or long-term painful conditions of the skeletal system, and helps the patient to reach his/her physical potential. The field includes the management of patients of all ages and encompasses all joint, muscle, ligament and tendon systems associated with the skeletal structure, and diseases that affect bone. Orthopaedists may also specialize within the skeletal structure and focus their practice on certain areas of the body. These sub-specialty are too numerous and complex to list here, but include: Care of the Spine (the back and neck)Total Joint ReconstructionThe KneeThe HipThe Foot and AnkleThe Hand and Upper Extremity (elbow to shoulder)Sports MedicineArthroscopic SurgeryAmputationTumorsMicrovascular SurgeryPediatric DisordersBone and Joint DiseaseFracture and Emergency TraumaSurgery is an integral part of the practice of orthopaedics. As you would makes plans before traveling on a long journey, so it is with your orthopaedic surgeon when he/she plans your surgery. Although it can be time-consuming, the pre-operative planning and bloodwork (history and physical) is an essential part of your operative care, and may include medical concerns that influence your surgeon's ability to deliver excellent care. Such a "master plan" will guide your surgeon, to ensure a successful, safe operation and recovery.