New York Spine Institute Spine Services

What is an orthopedic specialist what do they do

Doctor walking with patient while holding clipboard

What is an orthopedic specialist what do they do

By: Timothy T. Roberts, M.D. FAAOS

Dr. Roberts earned his Doctorate of Medicine from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts. He completed his orthopedic residency at Albany Medical College. Dr. Roberts then went on to complete the neurosurgery/orthopaedic spine surgery-combined fellowship at the prestigious Cleveland Clinic. Following graduation, Dr. Roberts worked for several years in a large private practice in Florida, but has since returned to his native New York.

Orthopedic doctors focus on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of conditions related to the bones, joints, muscles, nerves and tendons. These parts of your body make up your musculoskeletal system. Many of these doctors, like Dr. Timothy Roberts of the New York Spine Institute, are orthopedic surgeons. However, not all orthopedic specialists perform surgery.

What Does an Orthopedic Doctor Do?

Orthopedic doctors diagnose and treat injuries and conditions related to your musculoskeletal system. Treatment may include surgery. However, even if an orthopedic specialist is well-versed in surgical techniques, they often save surgery as a last resort. Dr. Roberts attempts to keep treatment as minimally disruptive as possible, more often recommending non-surgical options like physical therapy, medications, injections, bracing, casting, prevention strategies and lifestyle changes.

Many orthopedic doctors further specialize in a more narrow field because many conditions affect the musculoskeletal system. Among the generalists, some doctors specialize in certain areas of the body like hands and wrists, feet and ankles, shoulders and elbows, knees, necks, backs and hips. For example, along with his extensive experience in orthopedic spinal health, Dr. Roberts is also a highly trained neurosurgeon.

What Does an Orthopedic Specialist Treat?

Orthopedic doctors treat a wide range of conditions, from sports injuries to arthritis. While primary care doctors can sometimes treat many of the same injuries and conditions, you may want to see an expert for certain issues or severe cases. Dr. Roberts specializes in treating individuals of all ages with operative and non-operative spinal issues, such as:

  • Sports and work injuries.
  • Knee and hip pain or stiffness.
  • Back and neck pain or stiffness.
  • Rotator cuff tears.
  • Tennis elbow.
  • Ruptured discs.
  • Arthritis.
  • Fractures and broken bones.
  • Torn ligaments and muscles.
  • Muscle sprains and strains.
  • Bone tumors.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Scoliosis.
  • Sciatica.
  • Carpal tunnel.
  • Bunions.
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs.

When Should You See an Orthopedic Doctor?

Some muscle and joint pain will go away on its own after a few weeks. If your pain or swelling lasts longer than three months, consider making an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. If you have a reduced range of motion, have trouble standing or walking or struggle to do everyday tasks, you should see an orthopedic specialist. Nerve-related symptoms such as numbness or pins and needles in your hands, arms or legs are further symptoms that an orthopedic physician like Dr. Roberts may use to diagnose musculoskeletal conditions.

You may wish to see your primary care doctor first, and they can refer you to a specialist. In many cases, you can find a specialist directly by searching online. For patients living in the tri-state area, your search will undoubtedly lead you to the experts at the New York Spine Institute.

Contact the Orthopedic Specialists at the New York Spine Institute

Have you experienced a back injury or chronic pain in your back? Dr. Timothy T. Roberts of the New York Spine Institute is here to help you recover. As part of our spine division, he offers comprehensive spine and back care, always prioritizing the least invasive approaches. Under his direct supervision, you’ll experience the latest diagnostics and medical treatments for every spinal problem.

The New York Spine Institute is proud to be the only independent orthopedic spine and neurosurgical practice in New York. If you think you may need the help of an orthopedic specialist, we invite you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Roberts today. Let his years of experience help you get your life back.