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History, Orthopedic Surgery, New Advances, Diseases Of The Bone

Orthopedics is the branch of medicine that specializes in diseases and injuries of bones. It is a specialty devoted to the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and prevention of injuries and diseases of your body's musculoskeletal system. This complex system includes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves. Once devoted to the care of children with spine and limb deformities, orthopedics now cares for patients of all ages, from newborns with clubfeet to young athletes requiring arthroscopic surgery to older people with arthritis and osteoporosis.

Humans have had to contend with broken bones or malformed bones since the beginning. A strong man wielding a club or stone axe, common tools and weapons of the time, could splinter bones or disjoint a shoulder or leg. These injuries were probably frequently lethal, especially if the skin was broken and infection set in. Those that healed may well have left the victim with a deformed arm or joint that was permanently out of alignment.

Eventually, physicians developed ways to treat broken bones as evidenced by ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics depicting injured limbs wrapped and braced to heal normally. As wars were waged on a larger scale and weaponry became more efficient and deadly, fractures and other bone injuries became more prominent.

Physicians developed simple prosthetics to replace limbs that were amputated as the result of a wound. A hand was replaced by a cup that fit over the wrist and had a hook attached.

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