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Fun fact: Orthopedics was developed to correct deformities in children

Welcome to Five Fun Facts, a curated list of orthopedic-related trivia (although sometimes we stray a little off-topic), published monthly.

1. How did orthopedics get its start?

Orthopedic surgery was developed in France to correct deformities in children. Nicholas Andry, a professor of medicine at the University of Paris, coined the word “orthopédie” in 1741 by joining the Greek words orthos (straight) and paidion (child) for his book titled “L'orthopédie ou l'art de prévenir et de corriger dans les enfants les difformités du corps.”

2. Does frequent cracking of your knuckles increase your risk of arthritis?

While the sound can be annoying to some people, truth is, cracking your knuckles does not increase your chances of developing arthritis. The cracking sound you hear is simply nitrogen releasing from the liquid in your joints.

3. How many years of post-secondary education does it take to become a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon?

It typically takes 14 years to become a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon. Let’s add it up: 4 years of an undergraduate degree plus 4 in medicine plus 5 in a residency program and 1 in fellowship.

4. What is the anatomical name for the thighbone?

The femur. It is the longest and strongest bone in the body. Its length is typically 27% of a person’s height and can withstand about 4,000 newtons (900 pounds) of stress before breaking.

5. On average, how many carpal tunnel surgeries do the physicians at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center perform every month?

So far this year, our doctors have performed an average of 12 per month. It is a relatively common surgery used to treat severe cases of carpal tunnel syndrome by cutting through a ligament in the wrist to make more room for the median nerve and tendons passing through the tunnel.


Want to learn more? Visit our archive of orthopedic fun facts!


The information on this blog should not be considered medical advice regarding diagnosis or treatment recommendations.


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