Quad Cities, IL/IA

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Familiarize Yourself With Commonly Used Orthopaedic Terminology


Submitted by Orthopaedic Specialists

Have you ever walked out of a doctor’s appointment more unsure and puzzled than when you came in? Did the terms your doctors were using confuse you? Or worse—have you ever been worried you don’t understand the procedure you’re about to have done?

While it’s important to select a doctor who takes the time to fully describe the details of your injury and treatment options, it’s also a good idea to empower yourself with knowledge about the treatment and the terminology doctors use. This will help you feel more prepared and in control of the situation.

“When patients come in fully prepared, it makes it easier for us to confidently move forward. We can recognize that they understand the process of what is going to happen from pre-surgery to post-surgery,” said Dr. Tyson Cobb, M.D. at Orthopaedic Specialists, who oversees the Hand and Upper Extremity Center. “While we will do our best to explain everything in a clear manner, being an informed patient makes the whole process run a lot more smoothly and efficiently. There is less chaos and uneasiness when it comes to the surgery.”

Here are some important orthopedic terms:

  • Elective: Some of the key words and phrases that come to mind with an elective surgery are non-emergency, planned, thought out, and no ambulance required. An elective surgery is a surgery you have chosen or selected to do, but is not required.
  • Fellowship-trained: Simply put, fellowship-trained means you are getting more advanced care. In particular, fellowship-trained doctors have elected to complete an in-depth program in their chosen specialty, so they can focus specifically on one area of the body giving the best, most-advanced care. When you select a fellowship-trained doctor, it means the doctor can provide the highest quality of care and has the latest access to new technologies and techniques. 
  • Minimally invasive: Minimally invasive means less downtime, less scarring, and getting back to your life sooner. That’s because a minimally invasive surgery is not intrusive to your body.  “Any time we can improve surgeries so patients can recover safely at home is a step forward,” said Michael Patterson, Mississippi Valley Surgery Center CEO, a partner entity of OS. “Patients do not have to put off the surgery because they fear a costly, invasive surgery and a lengthy recovery. Minimally invasive surgeries help shorten recovery times.”
  • Outpatient: Outpatient is a shorter way to say the surgery does not require an overnight stay—it is done in the same day. Without the hassle of staying overnight, you will be able to get back to your everyday life more quickly. The facility in which outpatient surgeries are done is called an “ambulatory service center.”
  • Board-certified physicians: When a doctor is board-certified, you know you are getting the most specialized care, because board-certified physicians have passed an examination given by a medical specialty board, to give them added expertise. When your physician is board-certified, you can have the confidence of a job well done with the most specialized care.

At Orthopaedic Specialists (OS), a Quad Cities-based orthopedic center that specializes in outpatient, minimally-invasive surgeries, the team of doctors, assistants, nurses, and staff are dedicated to clearly communicating with you about medical terms and procedures that will impact your health.

For more information, please visit www.osquadcities.com or call 563-344-9292.