Orthopedics is the science of evaluating and treating bone conditions, and the muscular system which is attached to it. A large part of this science is in the treatment of back conditions, which are among the most common and painful conditions to afflict the human frame. Some of these conditions are degenerative, and start with the patient only suffering a slight degree of pain. If the condition is caught early, it is often possible to treat it with mild physiotherapy. Others are sudden, and the result of accidents or other incidents which impact the body dramatically.
Back problems can often be caused by the constant need for the body to go into unnatural positions, often as a result of working conditions. This can happen in the relative comfort of an office environment just as easily as it can happen in a manual labor job. If this happens over a period of time, it will result in the back becoming distorted, which will in turn put pressure on the discs at the bottom of the spine. Maintaining proper posture while working can prevent many of these problems.
The science of orthopedics covers both surgery and manipulative treatments. It is always recommended that you do everything you can to avoid unnecessary surgery, so it is best to explore the help which can be given to you through physiotherapy. Many of the conditions caused by poor posture can be helped by the gradual training of the back to return to its natural position. This treatment can even result in a temporary increase in back pain as the spine is put under further pressure, but if you can use painkillers to get through this, there is progress to be made.
The sad truth is that there are large numbers of people who will need to undergo orthopedic surgery, because the manipulative treatments are simply not achieving a result. If the problem is discovered early enough, and is mild enough in nature, it can often be treated with a minor procedure under local anesthetic. In this case, there is every possibility of the patient returning to work, and to full health, relatively quickly. The more serious problems will need more extensive surgery.
The most serious aspect of orthopedics is the major surgery which can correct virtually any back condition, but which can only do so with major repair work. The most serious condition will need a virtual rebuilding of the back, often in conjunction with the replacing of discs which have either been damaged or simply knocked out of position. This surgery will need a major recovery period, especially if it is necessary to drain fluid by the use of artificial tubes. This can be the most difficult aspect of orthopedics.