or·​tho·​pe·​dics | \ ˌȯr-thə-ˈpē-diks How to pronounce orthopedics (audio) \
variants: or less commonly orthopaedics

Definition of orthopedics

: a branch of medicine concerned with the correction or prevention of deformities, disorders, or injuries of the skeleton and associated structures (such as tendons and ligaments)

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Did You Know?

Just as an orthodontist corrects crookedness in the teeth, an orthopedist corrects crookedness in the skeleton. Orthopedics is formed in part from the Greek word for "child", and many orthopedic patients are in fact children. But adults also often have need of orthopedic therapy, as when suffering from a joint disease like arthritis or when recovering from a broken arm or leg.

Examples of orthopedics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As the number of coronavirus patients rises, the hospital has closed several wards: ones for ear, nose and throat, neurology, rehabilitation and orthopedics. NBC News, "U.S. National Guard assists as Czech Republic sounds Covid-19 alarm," 30 Oct. 2020 The outbreak continued to take a toll on J&J’s medical-device unit, as persistent delays in elective procedures eroded sales in its surgery, orthopedics and vision businesses. Riley Griffin, Bloomberg.com, "J&J Shares Slip as Covid-19 Trial Pause Overshadows Outlook," 13 Oct. 2020 Marian specialized in orthopedics at first, treating soldiers who had lost limbs. Washington Post, "Memories of World War II from a U.S. Army nurse who served in Europe," 7 Oct. 2020 Senior residents from urology, orthopedics, surgery, and ophthalmology have been drafted to be interns on the medicine service. Danielle Ofri, The New Yorker, "A Bellevue Doctor’s Pandemic Diary," 1 Oct. 2020 In addition to amputation-prevention procedures, the Mission Surgery Center will handle several types of procedures including orthopedics, eye surgery, plastic surgery, general surgery, cardiology and pain management. Laura Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Vascular surgeon plans to open South Side’s first accredited outpatient surgery center," 9 Sep. 2020 The outpatient surgery center has three operating rooms and will provide services in orthopedics, gynecology, podiatry and retina. Naseem S. Miller, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando-based EASE App acquired for $25 million," 27 Aug. 2020 Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital was ranked in eight of 10 categories, finishing 11th in orthopedics and 13th in pulmonology and lung surgery. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "U.S. News & World Report releases list of top children’s hospitals; see where Ohio ranks," 16 June 2020 People regularly exercising outside in the heat are also prone to heat exhaustion, says Samantha Smith, MD, a Yale Medicine sports medicine doctor and assistant professor of clinical orthopedics and rehabilitation at Yale School of Medicine. Leah Groth, Health.com, "7 Heat Exhaustion Symptoms You Should Never Ignore, According to Doctors," 11 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'orthopedics.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of orthopedics

circa 1853, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for orthopedics

Time Traveler

The first known use of orthopedics was circa 1853

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Statistics for orthopedics

Last Updated

5 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Orthopedics.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orthopedics. Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for orthopedics


How to pronounce orthopedics (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of orthopedics

medical : a branch of medicine that tries to prevent and correct problems that affect bones and muscles


noun plural but singular or plural in construction
variants: or chiefly British orthopaedics \ -​ˈpēd-​iks How to pronounce orthopaedics (audio) \

Medical Definition of orthopedics

: a branch of medicine concerned with the correction or prevention of deformities, disorders, or injuries of the skeleton and associated structures (as tendons and ligaments)

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