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AAOS Now

Published 5/1/2014
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Alan S. Hilibrand, MD

Enhance Your Patients’ Understanding of Orthopaedics

Take advantage of a free brochure for your office reception area

What do your patients think of when they hear the words “orthopaedic surgeon”? Just as important, what do their families and friends think? Do they realize that orthopaedic surgeons do more than replace joints? Giving patients an understanding of what you do—as an orthopaedic surgeon—can be an important part of expanding your practice and building a referral base.

A new brochure from the AAOS can help explain just what orthopaedic surgeons do and why patients should choose to see an orthopaedic surgeon when they have musculoskeletal problems. Ideal for office reception areas, the full-color brochure provides a concise, easy-to-understand overview of the practice of orthopaedics and the role of orthopaedic surgeons in maintaining and restoring physical function and mobility for patients of all ages.

“Orthopaedic Surgeons: Restoring Mobility and Keeping Our Nation in Motion” complements the design and message of, and prominently features patient photographs from, the Academy’s A Nation in Motion® campaign and website. The brochure highlights the ways in which orthopaedic surgeons partner with their patients to improve musculoskeletal health, allowing them to live happier and more productive lives.

The brochure is broken down into three sections, covering the definition of an orthopaedic surgeon, the conditions treated by orthopaedic surgeons, and the reasons for choosing an orthopaedic surgeon.

What is an orthopaedic surgeon?
“Orthopaedic surgeons are devoted to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. … Orthopaedic surgeons treat patients of all ages from newborns to the elderly. We treat conditions that include sports injuries and joint replacement to fractures and spinal deformity.”

This section also explains the difference between a generalist and a specialist in orthopaedics.

What does an orthopaedic surgeon treat?
“Orthopaedic surgeons explore nonsurgical options first, such as pain medication or rehabilitation. They also have the expertise to perform surgery to repair an injury or correct a condition, if necessary.”

Going beyond broken bones, this section lists a variety of conditions that are treated by orthopaedic surgeons.

Why choose an orthopaedic surgeon?
“An orthopaedic surgeon is an expert with extensive training in the proper diagnosis and both non-surgical and surgical treatment of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. … Orthopaedic surgeons are medical doctors who have completed a total of approximately 14 years of formal education. … The value of orthopaedic care is when people like YOU can get back to work, to family, and to doing the things you love.”

This section also discusses the importance of board certification and lifelong learning through maintenance of certification.

The back panel of the brochure provides an overview of the AAOS and web addresses for further patient education information.

“This new brochure, colorfully and succinctly explains what orthopaedic surgeons do, who they treat, and why they are uniquely qualified to care for the injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system,” said Michael F. Schafer, MD, past chair of the Communications Cabinet. “This resource is a tremendous asset to orthopaedic practices and their patients.”

A PDF of the brochure is available through the AAOS member website.

To order free brochures for your office waiting areas, email media@aaos.org or call Kelly King at 847-384-4033. Brochures are available in packages of 50.

Alan S. Hilibrand, MD, chairs the AAOS Communications Cabinet