What Does a Bone Specialist Do?
You have approximately 206 bones in your body, and these bones are important for storing minerals, making blood cells, maintaining your physical stature, and aiding in movement.
When something goes wrong with your bones, there are different types of bone specialists that treat bone disorders. Osteopaths treat diseases of the bone, and orthopaedic physicians perform orthopaedic surgery on patients to correct problems with bones and joints. A Doctor of Osteopathy (or D.O.), is a doctor trained in a holistic healing approach, who considers the structural aspects of the patient. Chiropractors also work on bones, by correcting skeletal misalignments.
The term “osteo” is a prefix derived from Greek that means “bone.” Osteopathy refers to a disorder of the bone, while the term “osteology” means the study of bone disease. Some disorders of bones include bone cancer (osteosarcoma), osteoarthritis, osteomyelitis, osteoporosis, and osteopenia.
Osteosarcoma, or a tumor in the bone, is more common in younger people. Symptoms include pain or swelling, and this type of tumor often occurs in the upper and lower limbs. Osteoporosis occurs when the bone becomes thin and fragile, and this condition is more common in older adults. When bones are becoming thin, as in a pre-osteoporotic stage, the term “osteopenia” is used.
Osteoarthritis, also more common in the elderly, is a form of joint deterioration. Frequently, patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis undergo orthopaedic surgery to alleviate joint pain.
Osteomyelitis is an infection of a bone, and bacteria usually cause it. Antibiotics are the treatment of choice for osteomyelitis.
To diagnose bone disease, a bone specialist may need to take x-rays, perform a biopsy, or send patients for a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Another way to examine bone is through a radioactive bone scan. This type of bone scan involves injecting a radioactive substance (a radiotracer), into your body. A less invasive type of bone scan, involves low-level radiation x-ray scanning to determine bone density. This bone densitometry scan can help detect osteoporosis.
For more information about how a bone specialist can help you, go to http://www.sgbonedoctor.com.
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