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Orthopedic vs. orthopaedic

Orthopedic is the Americanized version of the word orthopaedic. Both refer to the medical specialty focusing on the body’s musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves.

Orthopaedic comes from the Greek orthos (straight) and paidion (child), which suggests the practice began with a focus on children.


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The spellings are virtually interchangeable in the United States. However, an institution may use the more original form of spelling to associate itself with the classic meaning and principles of the discipline. The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgery uses the classic spelling.

Examples

Lincolnshire-based Complete Orthopaedic Care has announced that they will integrate into Advocate Medical Group (AMG), one of the state’s largest medical groups, effective June 30, 2014. [Chicago Tribune]

In orthopaedic surgery, MRI of the hip, knee, ankle, shoulder and wrist is now fairly commonplace. [Apley’s System of Orthopaedics and Fractures]

Pain emanating from an orthopaedic implant can be a difficult problem to identify. [Current Orthopaedic Practice]

Orthopedics is made up of 1,650 hospitals. [U.S. News]

Schutte received his orthopedic training in New Orleans, and completed his fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic. [The Missoulian]

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Comments

  1. Even though “orthopaedic” is the historically correct writing, “orthopedic” shows better the pronounciation and should therefore be prefered, I think.

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