Orthopedic doctors practice a branch of medicine that includes surgery as well as non-surgery for conditions that involve the musculoskeletal system. This branch of medicine usually involves treating sports-related injuries as well as traumas and oncology. Orthopedic doctors are often considered the sports doctors of medicine because the majority of their patients tend to receive their musculoskeletal injuries from playing sports. Repetitive movements that are required for sports usually result in injuries such as frozen shoulder, rotor cuff injuries, blown out knees as well as a wide variety of fractures to the bone.
Frozen shoulder is as the name implies a condition in which the patient's shoulder becomes painful to move and often immobilizes itself. The condition is treated with pain medication and physical therapy to try to regain movement. Frozen shoulder has three stages that it goes through beginning with painful immobility followed by mobility with pain and finally the condition corrects itself in the thawing out stage. For many patients, however, the condition does not self-correct and surgery is required to repair the frozen shoulder. Immediately after surgery patients go into physical therapy in order to prevent the shoulder from relapsing back into its pre-surgery condition.
Rotor cuff injuries are also common sports-related injuries that are the result of repetitive movements that cause rips and tears in the muscles and ligaments that never heal properly and become more painful over time as the repetitive movements continue. Rotor cuff injuries generally require special skills and orthopedic surgeon to repair. These types of injuries requiring and an extensive amount of downtime for the healing process to be complete and patients who don't give their injuries the proper amount of time to heal usually end up with no other options but surgery. Because orthopedic doctors clearly have to practice such a wide variety of medicine their training is intensive and varied; in addition to completing four years as an undergrad, hopeful doctors must also complete four years of medical school followed by a five-year residency as an orthopedic surgeon.