Orthopedic Surgeon Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities

By | April 20, 2017
Orthopedic surgeon job description, duties, tasks, and responsibilities

Orthopedic surgeons performing surgical procedures.

Orthopedic Surgeon Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities

What Does an Orthopedic Surgeon Do?

Orthopedic surgeons are medical professionals responsible for diagnosing and treating bone/muscle diseases or injuries.

Their job description includes giving medical attention to patients with musculoskeletal issues.

In carrying out their duties, orthopedic surgeons diagnose and examine bone deformities or fracture to determine the best course of treatment.

They use electromedical equipment such as arthroscope, X-ray, and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine to locate bone fissure or defect.

They also perform blood tests to check for rheumatoid arthritis or degenerative bone condition.

Orthopedic surgeons are the final port of call for bone-related injuries/issues such as torn ligaments, ruptured discs, osteoporosis, sciatica, and bone tumor to mention but a few.

They liaise with nurses, physicians, and other hospital personnel to administer proper treatment to patients.

Their role also includes studying the medical history of patients to identify the pattern to a disorder.

Usually, orthopedic surgeons administer invasive and non-invasive treatment to address musculoskeletal problems.

They perform surgeries as part of invasive procedure to reattach tendons, ligaments, and bones.

They also prescribe medications and supplements to reduce pain and strength joints.

As part of their responsibilities, orthopedic surgeons create post-surgery care plans and recommend lifestyle changes necessary for quick recuperation.

They monitor the recovery process of patients to determine the need for changes in treatment plan.

Their work description also entails assigning tasks to nurses and other healthcare staff.

Orthopedic surgeons in performing their duties use corrective devices such as splints, braces or cast to support bones or to immobilize a fracture.

Recommending exercises or sporting activities to enhance patients’ healing process is also part of the orthopedic surgeon description.

They also contact the family of patients to educate them on ways to assist a loved one through recovery.

In fulfilling their role, orthopedic surgeons ensure compliance with established healthcare protocols.

They may refer patients to other healthcare professionals such as physiologists and psychiatrics for additional medical care.

The orthopedic surgeon job requires a doctoral degree in medicine. Several years of residency and specialty fellowship are also necessary.

To succeed on the job, the qualities you will need include physical dexterity, compassion, and problem-solving skills.

Orthopedic Surgeon Job Description Example/Template

Orthopedic surgeons perform various functions in helping patients with musculoskeletal problem get well.

Here is an example of the job description, including the common tasks, duties, and responsibilities they usually perform:

  • Interview patients to gather information on their medical history and allergies
  • Diagnose patients using specialized equipment to identify bone fracture or defect
  • Perform surgical procedures to realign fractured bones/ligaments or to replace joint/hip bones
  • Prescribe medications and supplements to ease the pain of a condition and strengthen joints
  • Recommend special diet, hygiene, and exercises necessary to enhance a healing process
  • Provide surgical assistance and consultation to medical doctors and general practitioners
  • Delegate tasks as well as coordinate the activities of nurses and other medical staff
  • Monitor inventory level of medical supplies to facilitate stock replacement as maybe required
  • Examine surgical implements, equipment, and operating room to ensure they are sterile and ready for medical procedure
  • Proffer recommendations to address lower back and spine issues
  • Maintain accurate record of patient profile and treatment process
  • Guide and supervise the activities of medical students and surgery residents
  • Refer patients to other healthcare professionals such as physical therapists
  • Carry out research to develop and improve on existing operating procedures and surgical technique
  • Update families on the progress of treatment as well as steps necessary for recovery.

Requirements – Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge – for Orthopedic Surgeon Role

If you are interested in the job of orthopedic surgeon, here are major requirements most employers will expect you to have:

  • Education and Training: To become an orthopedic surgeon, you require a doctoral degree in medicine. Upon completion of a medical degree, you are required to complete a 5-year residency program under the supervision of an orthopedic surgeon. A fellowship program is also necessary for specialization in various areas of orthopedics such as hand surgery, arthroplasty, and spine surgery. State licensure is also required for practice
  • Physical Dexterity: Orthopedic surgeons are proficient in using various medical implements to reattach, set and replace defective bones or ligaments
  • Compassion: They are able to show care and concern to patients with bone/muscle injuries
  • Problem-solving Skill: They employ their knowledge of the human skeletal system in treating patients with bone related issues.


The sample job description provided in this post can be employed in making a good description for the orthopedic surgeon position if you are an employer hiring for the role.

Using our more comprehensive work description sample and information about the duties and responsibilities of an orthopedic surgeon, you are sure of creating a description that can attract the best suitable candidates for the job.

Also, information contained in this post is helpful to individuals interested in the orthopedic surgery career to have good knowledge of what it entails before getting into it.

Did you find this post useful in learning about what orthopedic surgeons do? Please, make a quick comment in the box below. Please, do also share your job description if you work as an orthopedic surgeon.

Job test

You may need to pass a job test to be hired for a position, improve your chances of making high scores today!

Job Assessment Tests: How to Top Your Competition

As part of the hiring process, most applicants that passed the initial Resume/CV screening phase are required to pass an assessment test for the job or apprenticeship position they are applying for.

The goal of this phase is to determine if the candidate has the appropriate set of skills and qualities to excel on the job.

Find out the tests you will be needing to take for the position you are applying for; get lots of success proven Practice materials to prepare with now: Sure way to make high scores in job tests.