Frequently Asked Questions

What is an orthopedic surgeon?

An orthopedic surgeon is a medical doctor who specializes in the treatment of the musculoskeletal system. This system includes bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. At Sports Medicine North, our surgeons and specialists are experts in providing care for the spine, shoulder, elbow, hand, hip, knee, foot, and ankle.

What is a physician assistant (PA)?

Physician assistants are licensed healthcare professionals who practice medicine with our orthopedic surgeons and specialists. As part of the doctor/ PA team, PAs diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries. Their focus is on patient care, which may include education and administrative activities. PAs can also write prescriptions.

What does the term “total joint replacement” mean?

Total joint replacement means replacing both sides of the weight-bearing surfaces of the affected joint. In the knee, it means replacing both the thin cartilage surface on the lower joint surface, which is the tibia, and the upper joint surface, which is the femur. The joint surface under the kneecap is also replaced. This requires removing the thin cartilage surface and a thin surface of bone for replacement with an artificial implant. At Sports Medicine North, our surgeons specialize in reconstruction and replacement of the hip, knee, and shoulder joints.

What is arthroscopic surgery?

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure orthopedic surgeons use to visualize, diagnose, and treat problems inside joints. Typically, the incisions are roughly one fourth of an inch in length with two or three incisions per joint as necessary. An arthroscope, which contains a miniature video camera, is placed through the incision to aid the surgeon throughout the operation. Other long, thin, tools are placed through the incision to repair and correct problems within the joints. Knees and shoulders most commonly benefit from arthroscopic surgery, but other joints such as ankles, hip, and wrists may also be operated on.