Orthopedic surgery is a highly specialized field of medicine. It is focused on treating conditions of the musculoskeletal system for people of all ages. Similar to many other surgical specialties, extensive training is required that includes a five year residency after medical school and in many cases additional 1-2 year fellowships focused on orthopedic subspecialties such as spine surgery, pediatric orthopedics, shoulder/elbow surgery, sports medicine, total joint reconstruction, hand surgery, and others. Orthopedic surgery is very competitive with the majority of practitioners being male physicians. Board certification by the American Board of Medical Specialties or the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery means the orthopedic surgeon has met the strict requirements of their respective fields.
Future of Orthopedics:
With an ever-increasing aging population, orthopedic surgeons are having no trouble filling their surgical schedules. With an increasing Medicare qualified patient population, orthopedic surgeons are facing the two fold issue of lower reimbursements and increased costs associated with running a thriving practice. Medicare qualified patients may see a dramatic decrease in access to care as specialists in many fields such as orthopedics must decide which patients to treat first. If it costs more to treat a patient than what is reimbursed to the provider, surgeons will be forced to limit their practice to cash paying and private third party insurance patients. Patients in rural areas with limited access to providers; could experience a shortage of well qualified orthopedic surgeons and may be forced to travel larger distances for care.
5 Common Orthopedic Procedures:
1. Knee Arthroscopy and Meniscectomy
2. Shoulder Arthroscopy and Decompression
3. Carpal Tunnel Release.
4. Knee Chondroplasty.
5. Removal/Support Implants.
Sample Prices for Orthopedic Procedures:
1. Arthroscopy – $3700-$6500
2. ACL Repair – $8982
3. Total Knee – $22,457
4. Total Hip – $22,533
5. Carpal Tunnel Release $2585
Photo Credit: Craig Allen
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