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Orthopedic medicine is the care of the musculoskeletal system. This system of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves makes it possible for your body to move.

An orthopedic specialist can be a medical doctor (MD) or a physician assistant (PA) who fixes injuries, such as broken bones, torn ligaments, separated shoulders, sprained ankles or strained muscles.

Other health problems treated by orthopedic specialists include:




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Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

First published: 04/22/2007
Last updated: 06/21/2010

Reviewed by: Steven Bergeson, MD, medical director of quality, Allina Health; J Richard Sheely, MD, medical director, Quello Clinic