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Orthopaedic surgeons—sometimes called orthopedic surgeons—are surgeons who operate on bones. Within the field of orthopaedics, there are myriad subspecialties. Some orthopedic surgeons focus on spinal cord surgery, but not all brain and spinal cord injury survivors need spinal specialists. Sometimes the injuries that cause brain and spinal cord injuries also injure other areas of the body. Brain and spinal cord injuries can also produce pain in the hips, legs, and neck.

Note that, while all orthopaedic surgeons are orthopedists, not all orthopedists are orthopaedic surgeons. Orthopedists specialize in treatment of the musculoskeletal system, but not all orthopedists have undergone the specialized training necessary to operate on your skeleton. Orthopedists typically make preliminary diagnoses, then refer their patients to orthopaedic specialists for further diagnosis and surgery.

When choosing an orthopedist or orthopaedic surgeon, consider asking the following:

  • How long have you been practicing?
  • What specific orthopedic issues do you treat?
  • Are you board-certified?
  • How many patients like me have you worked with?
  • Do you partner with other care providers to offer a comprehensive continuum of care?

Orthopaedic Surgeons and Orthopedists Directories