My aim of opening this site is to disseminate information about issues relating to the health of your bones, joints, muscles and nerves—all essential instrument of human locomotion. This is the focus of Orthopaedic Surgery. It is a discipline that directs its attention to issues relating to ensuring normal upright posture and movement.
Problems that can affect the skeletal system of the body are many: these include inborn problems which can be problem of formation in the womb, problem of birth trauma and other problems associated with abnormal growth and development. Other problems apart from these inborn and developmental problems include various types of skeletal trauma, tumours of musculoskeletal origins, childhood orthopaedic disorders, inflammatory bone and joint disorders, bone and joint infections and problems associated with aging—the so-called degenerative or wear and tear problems.
Orthopaedic Surgeons use sound scientific methods to assess, diagnose and treat these various disorders. The field of orthopaedics like other fields of orthodox medicine has come a long way. The present practice is so sophisticated that it poses a lot of challenges to a resource-poor environment like Nigeria. The reality of this has made us to rise up to the challenges in this field and to use as much as possible of available and affordable equipments to achieve an optimal level of musculoskeletal health for our teeming patients.
I must quickly point out that countless number of traditional bone setters (TBS) exist in our country. Without their activities, the few available orthopaedic surgeons in Nigeria (less than 300) would have been overwhelmed by the number of patients requiring our services. However the activities of these traditional healers are not without some drawbacks some of which have led to loss of limbs and lives unnecessarily. This is not surprising as these traditional practitioners are not educated, some of their skills are handed down to them by their unschooled parents and a lot of their practices are shrouded in 'mystery' and are not amenable to scientific verification. A lot of time they engage in harmful practices like inappropriate use of splints that may lead to what has come to be known as TBS gangrene when the limb loses its vitality as a result of impairment of blood supply. They also lack basic knowledge of human anatomy and microbiology. The result is often abnormal union of fractures (malunion), infection or frank failure of union.
It is my sincere hope that I will be able to answer some of the questions relating to the health of your bone and joint so that you can have optimum level of health necessary to pursue your works and careeer profitably.
Your comment and questions shall be welcomed as you surf through these pages.
Thank you and God bless.
Dr G. O. Aremu MB, CHB, FWACS
Fellow, West African College of Surgeons (Orthopaedics)
Member, Medical College of Surgeons (Nigeria)
Member, Nigerian Orthopaedic Association.
Consultant Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon,
Head of Department of Surgery,
Federal Staff Hospital