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Orthopedic surgery

Overview of orthopedic surgery

Orthopedic surgery focuses on the musculoskeletal system. Our Dignity Health orthopedic surgeons treat disorders and injuries related to your bones, muscles, joints, and connective tissues.

To become an orthopedic surgeon, physicians must complete five or more additional years of specialized training after medical school. This training covers the management of joint and bone-related conditions and disorders.

At our hospitals and outpatient centers, we provide therapy, noninvasive procedures, and minimally invasive orthopedic surgery. The goal is to reduce your discomfort and help you regain mobility. To learn more about orthopedic services, Find a Doctor or a location near you.


While injuries from trauma or overuse are the most common causes of orthopedic issues, others may include:

  • Genetic abnormalities and congenital (meaning present at birth) conditions, such as cerebral palsy
  • Diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system (e.g., bone tuberculosis)
  • Degenerative conditions such as arthritis
  • Aging-related conditions such as osteoporosis
  • Bone tumors
  • Injuries such as fractures, dislocations, and ligament strains/tears (e.g., from falls, sports, car crashes, burns, etc.)
  • Amputation
  • Birth-related trauma¬†


Some of the orthopedic conditions we treat with the latest techniques include:

  • Arthritis, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout
  • Back and neck problems, including osteoporosis, spinal stenosis, and fractured vertebrae
  • Deformities, including club foot, bunions, uneven bone length, and congenital disabilities
  • Joint problems, including bursitis, tendonitis, torn cartilage, torn ligaments, sprains, and strains
  • Muscle conditions, including pulled or torn muscles, muscular dystrophy, and cerebral palsy
  • Trauma, including bone fractures and dislocations
  • Tumors

In order to treat these conditions, our surgeons perform a wide range of surgeries, including:

  • Back surgery, including discectomy and laminectomy
  • Elbow surgery, including procedures for fractures and tendonitis
  • Foot and ankle surgery, including Achilles tendon surgery and ankle replacement
  • Hand surgery, including joint and tendon repair
  • Hip surgery, including hip replacement and resurfacing
  • Joint surgery, including arthroscopy and replacement
  • Knee surgery, including partial and total knee replacement and repair of torn ligaments
  • Shoulder surgery, including rotator cuff repair
  • Spine surgery, including lumbar and cervical spinal fusion
  • Wrist surgery, including carpal tunnel release and fracture repairs

Dignity Health doctors also specialize in minimally invasive surgical techniques, which require smaller incisions. Minimally invasive surgery uses cameras to repair bones and muscles without the need for large incisions. This approach leads to faster recovery times with less pain and shorter hospital stays. Ask your doctor if you may be a candidate for a minimally invasive procedure.

The information contained in this article is meant for educational purposes only and should not replace advice from your healthcare provider.