Orthopedics or orthopaedics? Is there a difference? Or is the only difference in a single letter? This is a commonly asked question that we’ll straighten out for you right away, and then we’ll give you some additional information on how the difference came into being.
Is It Orthopedics or Orthopaedics?
Both orthopedics and orthopaedics refer to the branch of medicine that deals with the musculoskeletal system. The only difference between the two words is in fact their spelling. So which one is correct? Well, that depends on where you live and who you’re asking. Here’s a brief history to help you get to the bottom of things.
A Brief History of Orthopedics
In 1741, French physician and writer Nicholas Andry wrote a book called Orthopaedia: or the Art of Correcting and Preventing Deformities in Children. Andry invented the word orthopaedics by combining the Greek words orthos (straight) and paidion (child), because the specialty was originally meant to focus on correcting musculoskeletal issues like polio and scoliosis in children. Thus, orthopaedics is actually the original word to describe the practice that is now a bit broader in scope.
So Is Orthopedics Correct Now?
Orthopedics is now the much more common, Americanized spelling of the original word. The difference in spelling is, in general, a British vs. American difference, but some Americans still use orthopaedics to depict their alignment with some of the earlier philosophies of orthopedics. Many United States University and higher education institutions prefer the original spelling. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery is an example of an institution that has chosen orthopaedic over orthopedic. To give you a technical answer, then, orthopedics is used in the United States while orthopaedics is used in the UK. But of course, as explained, there are plenty of exceptions based on preference.
Is Orthopedics Part of Chiropractic?
Now that we’ve gotten to the bottom of the spelling debate, we can explain how orthopedics is related to chiropractic. Orthopedics and chiropractic both deal with musculoskeletal issues, but chiropractic usually takes a more holistic approach. Orthopedics is often involved in more surgical solutions whereas chiropractic looks at the body as a whole and treats the individual for overall health and well-being, using more targeted approaches for treatment as needed. However, chiropractors and orthopedic surgeons often work together to help a patient achieve their desired treatment plan. For example, an orthopedic surgeon might recommend chiropractic services such as spinal adjustments and physiotherapy before recommending surgery. Alternatively, a chiropractor sometimes refers patients to an orthopedic surgeon if it seems like surgery might need to be part of the treatment for a particular individual. The two types of musculoskeletal care often have to work together to come up with the right treatment.
Orthopedics in PlanoMaking orthopedics and chiropractic services a part of your musculoskeletal care can be a great way to achieve overall health. With options in the Plano area, you can find solutions close to home, regardless of whether you prefer orthopedics or orthopaedics!