Orthopaedic Surgeon Versus a Chiropractor

Orthopaedic Surgeon Versus a Chiropractor

Whether you were out playing football, running track, or maybe you just woke up in pain, you want that pain to stop as quickly as possible. But, which doctor do you choose? There are so many different specialties; it can be difficult to find just the right one. Should you see a chiropractor or an orthopedic specialist?


A chiropractor focuses on neuromuscular disorders (relating to muscles and nerves), focusing mainly on the spinal area. Treatments principally revolve around manual adjustment or manipulation. Their protocols are centered on enhancing the structural integrity of the spine to improve an individual’s health. While some chiropractors can and do, help many patients, any serious injury or illness such as nerve pain, neck or spinal issues, sports injuries, and fractures should be evaluated by a board-certified medical doctor who specializes in orthopedics.

Orthopaedic Surgeons

An Orthopaedic surgeon is a physician that specializes in the treatment, diagnosis, and rehabilitation of various disorders, injuries, and diseases related to the entire musculoskeletal system. Orthopedic surgeons focus on treating even complex issue related to joints, tendons, muscles, bones, ligaments, and nerves. Orthopaedic surgeons are experts in all things musculoskeletal, but many specialize in their own personal field of study. These may include different areas of the body, such as

  • Hand and Elbow
  • Shoulder and Spine
  • Knee and Hip
  • Ankle and foot

An orthopaedic surgeon may also specialize in oncology (tumors of the bone), sports medicine, trauma, or pediatrics (treatment of children and adolescents). Their extensive education and training will take approximately 14 years. During those 14 years an orthopaedic surgeon will study for 4 years in a college (university), 4 years of medical school, 5 years of orthopaedic residency with a concentrated study in a medical center, and an extra year of intense training is common after that.

After all of this, they must still pass board certifications. Once finally certified, these surgeons spend countless hours in study. After 10 years, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery will require an in-depth re-certification process to evaluate the maintenance of a surgeon’s orthopaedic knowledge and skills.

A chiropractor is not licensed for surgery. An orthopaedic surgeon, however, can perform and do everything from treating a fracture to reconstructing joints and repairing spinal damage. A visit with your Orthopaedic Surgeon will probably include an exam, interview, and a review of your medical history. These are all necessary to properly evaluate and treat your situation.

Are you having an issue with your spine, neck, or back? Let the highly skilled and trained professionals at Movement Orthopaedics assist you. Dr. Jeffrey Carroll prides himself on keeping you in top form. Call (586)-436-3785 today or request an appointment online.

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