The ABMS Member Boards - Orthopaedic Surgery

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American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
400 Silver Cedar Court
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 929-7103

Orthopaedic Surgery

An Orthopaedic Surgeon is educated in the preservation, investigation and restoration of the form and function of the extremities, spine and associated structures by medical, surgical and physical means. This specialist is involved with the care of patients whose musculoskeletal problems include congenital deformities, trauma, infections, tumors, metabolic disturbances of the musculoskeletal system, deformities, injuries and degenerative diseases of the spine, hands, feet, knee, hip, shoulder and elbow in children and adults. An Orthopaedic Surgeon is also concerned with primary and secondary muscular problems and the effects of central or peripheral nervous system lesions of the musculoskeletal system.

Specialty training required prior to Board Certification: A minimum of five years (including surgery training) plus two years in clinical practice before final certification is achieved.


To become certified in a particular subspecialty, a physician must be Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and complete additional training as specified by the Member Board. 

  • Orthopaedic Sports Medicine
    An Orthopaedic Surgeon educated in Sports Medicine has expertise in the surgical and medical care for all structures of the musculoskeletal system directly affected by participation in sporting activity. This specialist is proficient in areas including conditioning, training and fitness, athletic performance and the impact of dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, and nutrition on performance and health, coordination of care within the team setting utilizing other health care professionals, field evaluation and management, soft tissue biomechanics and injury healing and repair. Knowledge and understanding of the principles and techniques of rehabilitation, athletic equipment and orthotic devices enables the specialist to prevent and manage athletic injuries.

  • Surgery of the Hand
    A Surgeon trained in Surgery of the Hand has expertise in the surgical, medical and rehabilitative care of patients with diseases, injuries, and disorders affecting the hand, wrist and forearm. Common conditions treated by a hand surgeon include carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger fingers, ganglia (lumps), sports injuries to the hand and wrist, and hand injuries involving cut tendons, nerves and arteries. Hand Surgeons may be General Surgeons, Orthopedic Surgeons or Plastic Surgeons who have received additional training in this area.

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Questions to ask your surgeon

What are the risks/benefits of this procedure?

What will happen if I don’t have the procedure? Are there alternatives?

How often have you performed the procedure? What is your success rate?

How is the procedure performed? What are the complications?

Do I need to donate blood? How do I do that?

What should I expect in my recovery?

Will future surgeries be necessary?

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