Duties and Responsibilities
For an orthopedic surgeon, each day’s duties are determined by the needs of his patients. Orthopedic surgeons diagnose and assess patients’ injuries or diseases through diagnostic testing, such as X-rays to look for broken bones or blood tests to check for rheumatoid arthritis. Despite being licensed surgeons, many orthopedic surgeons recommend and implement non-invasive treatments. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, as much as 50 percent of an orthopedic surgeon’s practice is non-surgical. The surgeon may cast and splint limbs, recommend rehabilitative exercises, or prescribe supplements and medications to strengthen joints or minimize pain. If surgery is necessary, they repair the injury, disease or damage. They may plate broken bones, reattach tendons and ligaments, or perform joint or hip replacements, among other procedures.