Orthopaedic Difference

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Orthopaedic Surgeons

Orthopaedic surgeons are specialized medical practitioners who have undergone extended training in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. They have undergone a university and hospital based medical degree to become a qualified medical practitioner before proceeding into a surgical career. 

Orthopaedic surgeons undergo their surgical training within the public and private hospital system, gaining a broad experience in medical and surgical conditions focusing on musculoskeletal treatments. In undergoing hospital based training, orthopaedic surgeons gain exposure to other surgical specialities as part of patient care. They are involved in the management of patients suffering from acute or chronic conditions, as well as the management of complications following injury or treatment. This is a difference when compared to other non medically trained practitioners involved in the care of your feet.

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Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons

Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle surgeons have undergone further training in the specific diagnosis and treatment of foot and ankle conditions. This is an extension of their training in orthopaedic surgery and medical conditions. 

Members of the Australian Foot and Ankle Society have often completed international fellowships with hands on experience in surgical techniques. As a medical practitioner trained through the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, Orthopaedic Surgeons are recognized by the Government to allow patients to obtain MBS rebates for their care.

Treatments of the foot

Problems with the foot can be managed with either non surgical or surgical treatments. In some situations, the best treatment may be a coordinated combination of both. When surgical treatment is considered, it is important to discuss the potential risks and the expected benefits with the surgeon. It is important to determine if surgical treatment results will match the expected outcomes by both the patient and the surgeon.

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Non Surgical Treatments

Rest, activity modification
Splints, braces or orthotics
Podiatry review for foot care
Physiotherapy for mobilization and strengthening

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Surgical Treatments

Correction of deformity
Fusion of joints
Ligament or tendon reconstruction
Removal soft tissue lesions

What to Expect following foot surgery

The goals of any surgical procedure are to help alleviate pain, correct deformity and help restore function. Factors that can influence the results of your procedure can include marked deformity, bone loss, soft tissue deficiency or revision surgery.

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A patient needs to expect that a recovery period is involved with any surgical procedure and the duration with vary on the complexity and type of treatment received.

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Following surgery, it is important to take care of the wounds. This often needing the wounds to remain dry. In most cases a post operative shoe, plaster or splint would be placed on the leg after the procedure. This is to protect the wound, soft tissue correction or bony procedure. It may be necessary to avoid walking on the leg following the procedure, with the duration depending on the procedure performed.

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Pain following surgery will depend on the procedure involved, and management may involve analgesia and leg elevation to reduce swelling. If you are experiencing pain for a prolonged period following your procedure, please contact your surgeon to organize a review.

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