Orthopaedic surgery is more of (bio)mechanical engineering where we apply various principles of mathematics and physics, to achieve the optimal outcome. It is not just a field of plates and screws, but one where every turn of the screw matters and influences the life of the patient. No two fractures are the same, like a 3D jigsaw puzzle and one can never get bored of performing a trauma surgery. We repair torn tendons, reconstruct ligaments, replace joints and re-engineer the bio-mechanics to alleviate the patient’s pain.
The complex multi-fragment comminuted fracture needs meticulous reorientation of the fractured fragments preserving the soft tissue attachments and can be time-consuming and exhausting. But the moment we see the hairline reduction of fracture in the image-intensifier (intra-operative X-ray machine), the satisfaction we feel is unexplainable. Similarly, a patient who was unable to walk due to disc prolapse and severe sciatica pain walked comfortably with a smile of relief on the same day of surgery, and an arthritis patient who was limping for years walked straight on the next day of replacement, a passionate football player resuming the game after arthroscopic ligament reconstruction, all provide instant gratification like nothing else.
Precise and Unyielding
Orthopaedic surgery transcends mere bone mending; it revolves around the meticulousness of fracture reduction and fixation to ensure the utmost favorable outcome for patients. The field necessitates unwavering commitment and expertise in executing surgical techniques, particularly in the realm of intraarticular fracture fixation and the precise placement of prostheses in arthroplasty procedures, to mention a few. Moreover, delicately navigating the neurovascular structures in trauma surgeries and maneuvering around the intricate cord or nerve root structures during spine surgery demand unwavering focus and immense patience. It is an arduous task, as even the slightest error can give rise to unwarranted complications and impairments for the patient.
The Power of Collaboration
In the domain of orthopaedics, the power of teamwork is truly remarkable. Even a seemingly simple fracture necessitates seamless collaboration, as no individual's contribution can be compromised during the process of fracture fixation. Teamwork harnesses a diverse range of ideas, facilitating the implementation of various approaches and methods to rectify fractures, thus reducing overall procedure duration and simplifying complex tasks. By pooling the strengths of the team, a synergistic environment is created, enabling the development of innovative techniques and treatments, thereby elevating patient care and enhancing surgical outcomes. Teamwork fosters a supportive and enriching work environment, where individuals can learn from one another and continually strive for excellence in their practice.
These multifaceted aspects of orthopaedics, arrays of spine surgery from a feet-long incision for scoliosis surgery to an 8 mm incision for endoscopic spine surgery and endless advancements in techniques enable us orthopaedic surgeons to love what we do.