Orthopedics at HMC in Sugar Land
Pradeep Kodali M.D.
What is Orthopedics?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines orthopedics as a branch of medicine concerned with the correction or prevention of deformities, disorders, or injuries of the skeleton and associated structures (as tendons and ligaments)
What an Orthopedic Surgeon Does
Orthopedic Surgeons diagnose and correct problems such as fractures, torn tendons and ligaments, and other injuries. They also treat acquired and congenital skeletal deformities and the effects of degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis, as well as nervous system disorders that are related to the spine. Originally dependent on heavy braces and splints, orthopedics now uses hip and other joint replacements, bone grafts, prostheses, special footwear, and lighter braces to enhance mobility. Many orthopedic specialists specialize in sports medicine, while others are more diversified, working in a wide range of medical areas, including podiatry, pediatrics, geriatrics, and even plastic surgery.
Education Requirements for Orthopedic Surgeons
To become an orthopedic surgeon, one must have either a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree from an approved American or Canadian medical or osteopathic school. After graduating from medical school, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery (ABOS) requires five years of residency training. Once residency is completed, candidates are eligible to take the ABOS written examination for board certification, which consists of over 300 questions to test their knowledge of proper treatment.
Once this exam is passed, a physician must practice for 22 months with a valid state medical license, which is granted by passing the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), and some states grant osteopathic medical licenses based on the COMLEX (Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination) exam.
After 22 months of practice and satisfactory peer review, a candidate for board certification can take the ABOS oral examination. During this exam the candidate’s knowledge is rigorously tested by board-certified orthopedic surgeons. If the candidate passes this examination, they are awarded the title of “Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery,” which must be renewed every 10 years by demonstrating continued competence as an orthopedic surgeon.