What does orthopedics actually mean?

Orthopedics is composed of the two word parts "ortho" and "pädie", which means "upright" and "educate". In the sense of the word, orthopedics is thus the upbringing upbringing. Orthopedics refers to the field of medicine that deals with the musculoskeletal system - the part of our body that allows us to walk upright.

The musculoskeletal system

The musculoskeletal system essentially includes the skeleton or bones, the joints, the tendons and the muscles.

This musculoskeletal system is an amazing structure: the bones are as hard as steel but light as aluminum. They account for only about 12 percent of body weight. Interestingly, the bones are constantly changing. This means that bone mass is constantly being removed and new ones rebuilt. While in youth the structure dominates, with increasing age the reduction of the bone mass predominates.

Development of bone mass in different stages of life

Here's how bone mass evolves in different stages of life:

  • 0 to 25 years: build up of bone mass. Maximum is reached at about 25 years
  • 25 to 35 years: bone mass remains constant
  • 35 to about 45 years: reduction of about 0.5 - 1% bone mass / year
  • From about 45 years: Degradation of about 1 to 2% bone mass / year

Our musculoskeletal system includes more than 100 joints, 206 bones and 656 muscles. The joints create a flexible connection between the bones. Their construction, with all the washers, diaphragms, bursa and the automatically controlled secretion of synovial fluid, makes you instinctively think of a high-tech construction. The muscles provide the power to move the joints, and strong tendons take up their effort.

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