Chronicles of a Student-Doctor #8


Welcome to the Orthopedics clinic.

Orthopedics is a specialty of medicine concerned with the diagnosis, correction, management as well as prevention of musculoskeletal deformities.

(Photo-credit: WEB)

So have you ever wondered what Orthopedic surgeons actually do? Take a look at this Wikipedia article.
One thing I can tell you though is that contrary to popular opinion, Orthopedic doctors only fix bones, they do not break them. Hence limb amputations are usually left for the general surgeons.

During my posting, we managed conditions involving the bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, muscles and associated nerves.

Our outpatient clinics were held on Mondays and Fridays, and surgical procedures were held on Thursdays.
Most of our patients presented with fractures of either the upper or lower limbs. We did lots of limb casting for benign fractures (or bone displacement) and open/closed reduction with internal/external fixation for more traumatic ones.

(Photo-credit: WEB)


I found the placement of the limb casts quite fascinating and learnt a thing or two about the procedure.
We also saw cases like Osteomyelitis, Congenital talipes equinovarus (clubfoot), Sciatica, Slipped capital femoral epiphysis, Epicondylitis, Ganglion cyst, Bunions, Blount disease, Osteoarthritis etc

Another fascinating procedure I observed was the management of clubfoot in pediatric patients using the PONSETI METHOD: serial limb castings followed by the placement of Denis brown splint.

(Photo-credit: WEB)

The team worked closely with the Physiotherapy department and our patients were referred to them from time to time.

Image: A physiotherapist at work
During ward rounds and clinics, we reviewed lots of patient’s X-rays and I learnt how to classify the different types of fractures as well as methods for their management.

Image: limb fracture

A good knowledge of upper/lower limbs anatomy was needed for the posting and I spent a considerable amount of time going over stuffs I’d learnt in my first year of medical school.

I found Paul Bolin’s Orthopedic videos on YouTube very helpful too and I highly recommend it.

He also has videos in some other specialties (General Surgery, Psychiatry, Ophthalmology etc) as well.

Another highlight of the posting was that my friend was in the unit too. And having him around meant work was sandwiched with lots of FUN. I’ve written about him previously here and here.

The remaining members of the team were quite helpful too. I had a remarkable experience overall.

Selfie on FLEEK…

So to my favorite part, would I consider a career in Orthopedic surgery? Hardly. The thought of the long hours in the theatre as well as the Manpower required is a NO for me.
Anyway, a big SHOUT OUT to the big guys in Orthopedics department! You guys do a great job.
Another humor..

(Photo-credit: WEB)

PS: Guess who aced her final exam? Yours sincerely. I’m so thankful at the moment. I can’t express my gratitude enough. The sleepless nights and endless studying was eventually worth it. Oghene doh! (Lord Thank You).

Thank you for reading!


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