How Much Does an Orthopedic Surgeon Make?
The human body contains over 200 bones. Unfortunately, bone and joint conditions are common and often need the expertise of an orthopedic surgeon. Orthopedic surgeons specialize in all facets of the musculoskeletal system, including the following:
They treat patients with many different acute and chronic injuries and conditions, such as:
- Skeletal fractures, including broken hips, broken wrists, kneecaps, compression fractures of the vertebrae, and several others
- Various tendon injuries, including an Achilles tendon rupture or ACL rupture
- Meniscus tears
- Ankle sprains
- Plantar fasciitis
- Hip or shoulder labral tears
- Rotator cuff tears
- Tennis elbow
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Stress fractures
- Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Pain (knee, hip, joint, and muscle pain)
- Orthopedic trauma
- Sports medicine injuries
What is the Average Orthopedic Surgeon Salary?
An orthopedic surgeon’s salary can vary based on several factors, including:
- The state they work in
- The type of facility or practice they work at
- Any advanced trainings or certifications they hold
- Their experience
Physicians and surgeons are among the highest-paid professionals in America. However, orthopedic surgeons require a higher level of skill and education; thus, they generally make more than other physicians and surgeons. The national average orthopedic surgeon salary is $231,631 per year.
In Florida, the average orthopedic surgeon’s salary is $231,978 per year. According to information compiled by Indeed and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), other salary examples include:
- Maine: $286,810 per year
- Nevada: $151,544 per year
- Wyoming: $194,994 per year
- California: $226,660 per year
- Indiana: $270,780 per year
- New Mexico: $280,430 per year
- New York: $198,094 per year
- Washington: $220,222 per year
However, a 2020 Doximity report revealed that new male orthopedic surgeons garner an average annual salary of $614,447, while their female counterparts earn $491,770.
Merritt Hawkins data from 2020 places orthopedic surgeons as the second-highest paid type of physician with an average orthopedic surgeon salary of $626,000, just behind invasive cardiologists.
Still, the Medscape Compensation Report for 2020 shows a salary of $511,000 per year for orthopedists. Although about 56 percent of orthopedic surgeons reported a decline in their 2020 compensation related to COVID-19, the average annual orthopedic salary remained unchanged from the previous year.
Orthopedic Surgeons: Education and Training
Like many medical careers, not everyone has what it takes to become an orthopedic surgeon. Those pursuing this pathway will need to attend college, an additional four years of medical school, and then a minimum of five years of residency. Orthopedic residencies are both physically and psychologically demanding. The National Resident Matching Program, a nonprofit organization that assigns medical students to medical residencies, revealed that in 2019 were 1,037 individuals who applied for an orthopedic surgery residency. Of those, only 755 of those people were offered one.
Becoming a competent orthopedic surgeon takes much time and practice. Most orthopedic surgeons round out their training with a fellowship focusing on a particular type of orthopedic surgery such as foot and ankle surgeries.
What Does an Orthopedic Surgeon Do?
Orthopedic surgeons are educated and trained in preventing, diagnosing, treating, and rehabilitating both injuries and diseases of the human musculoskeletal system. Prior to the 1890s, the medical practice of orthopedics was confined to the treatment of deformities of children using manipulation, splinting, and exercise. In the early 1900s, orthopedics grew to encompass surgery based one developments with bone fixation and casting
Today, orthopedic surgeons are qualified to perform several procedures, including:
- Joint replacements, including hips and knees
- Osteotomies— cutting and repositioning a bone to fix a bone deformity
- Internal fixation—using plates, screws, or pins to hold broken pieces of bone together so that they heal correctly
- Arthroscopy— visualizing inside of a joint with the use of a small surgical camera
- Soft tissue repair of tendons and ligaments
- Fusion—a surgical procedure using rods to fuse bones
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT)
- Joint manipulation
- Casting or bracing
- Injections such as ultrasound-guided steroid injections into a joint or facet joint injections
- Aspiration (fluid drainage)