Dr. Lakshmi Naathan is an Orthopedician, with over 12 years of experience spanning Orthopedics, Sports Medicine and Anthroscopy. He holds an MS in Orthopedics from Manipal Medical College, and a M.Ch degree in Orthopedics from Seychelles University. He has been a full-time or Consulting Orthopedic at some of the top Hospitals of South India such as ICF (Railways) Hospital, Chennai and Sagar Apollo in Bangalore, among others. He has also published several papers, presentations and dissertations in the area of Orthopedics, in reputed journals and seminars.
Q: When we refer to Orthopaedics does it mean that it is a branch of medicine just limited to treating bones?
A. Orthopaedics is a branch of medicine that deals with all disorders related to the musculoskeletal system. It includes disorders of the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Any patient suffering from problems related to these structures are referred to an Orthopaedic surgeon.
Q: What are the types of services we can expect from an Orthopaedist?
A: In Orthopaedics, a variety of treatment modalities are available depending on the disorder that the patient is suffering from. It ranges from simple pain medications and physiotherapy to injections in the joint or ligaments, keyhole surgeries, reconstructive surgeries and joint replacement surgeries. Once a patient is seen by the Orthopaedic surgeon, his problems are assessed and the right modality of treatment related to his problem is initiated.
Q: What are the different types of orthopaedic conditions and treatments available?
A: The most common patients encountered by an Orthopaedic surgeon are those with fractures following an injury. They are treated by simple casting, minimally invasive surgery or reconstructive surgery of the bones with metal implants. The other common problems that are seen in the daily practice are patients with neck and back pain, joint pain, sports injuries, ligament strain and inflammation of tendons (tendinitis). The treatment ranges from medications, physiotherapy, intra-articular or intra-lesional injections to joint replacement surgery.
Q: Are there different types of orthopaedic doctors and surgeons?
A: Though Orthopaedics is a single entity and all Orthopaedic surgeons are trained in all fields, there are many sub specialties coming up with surgeons underging specialized training in each field. Some of the sub specialties are Trauma, Arthroplasy, Arthroscopy and Sports medicine, Paediatric and Geriatric Orthopaedics, Spine and Oncosurgery.
Q: Does Orthopaedic Surgery (traditional or keyhole) help relieve debilitating pain? If so how?
A: The most common complaint that most of the patients who come to the Orthopaedic department have is pain. Hence the main aim of any treatment in Orthopaedics is alleviating the pain and returning the patients to their normal lifestyle. All treatment modalities are directed towards pain relief. The patients are assessed and the cause of their pain is ascertained and treated.
Q: What is the importance of Knee Replacement Surgery and how safe is it?
A: Knee replacement surgery is considered a boon in recent years. It is a highly rewarding and successful surgery advised and done for patients with Osteoarthritis (wearing out) of the knee joint. When the joints get worn out, the patients develop pain and deformity of the limb with difficulty in walking. Their activities of daily living are affected restricting them from doing their routine work. The patients become dependent on others. Joint replacement offers them mobility and a chance to get back to their normal life. The results are extremely good and the surgery itself is considered safe.
Interview with Dr.M.Lakshmi Naathan, Orthopedician, Kauvery Hospital