Orthopedic sports medicine is exactly what it sounds like, a combination of orthopedic medicine and sports medicine. The early history of the orthopedic profession focused on orthopedic treatment for children only. Early orthopedists used braces and other tools to cure conditions like scoliosis. Today, orthopedic and sports medicine professionals focus on patients of all ages, various body areas, and multiple sports-related injuries. These professionals have the training and expertise needed to diagnose and treat conditions of various magnitudes.
Orthopedic sports medicine is a rapidly growing profession. These specialists perform various tasks for athletes including giving fitness advice, conditioning, training, coordination of medical care with other professionals, and more. The training that orthopedic sports medicine professionals go through provide them with the necessary skills to care for the musculoskeletal needs of athletes. To become an orthopedic sports medicine professional, they must have knowledge of nonsurgical treatments, surgical treatments, biomechanics, healing techniques, repairing techniques, rehabilitation processes and how to utilize those that bring the fastest results, and orthotic devices. This is crucial in sports medicine so specialists can prevent and manage sports-related injuries among athletes.
The process to becoming an orthopedic sports medicine specialist is exactly the same as becoming a regular orthopedic professional. The education required includes four years of undergraduate, four years of medical school, and a five-year residency program. However, to subspecialize in sports medicine, a yearlong fellowship is required. It should be noted that some of these programs are longer than one year and actually extend to two to four years.
Careers in orthopedic sports medicine differ from that of a typical orthopedic specialist. Orthopedists specializing in sports medicine may work at schools as a team physician, open a private practice, or find work in education.