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An orthopaedic surgeon is a medical professional who specialises in diagnosing, treating, preventing and rehabilitating musculoskeletal injuries and diseases, both surgically and non-surgically, in people of all ages. The musculoskeletal system includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves.

The types of conditions orthopaedic surgeons might treat include arthritis, cerebral palsy, club foot, congenital disorders, degenerative diseases, infections, musculoskeletal trauma, scoliosis, sports injuries and tumours.

Services provided

  • Diagnosis of musculoskeletal disorders
  • Treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, which might include surgery, or use of orthopaedic frames or braces
  • Surgical procedures such as :
    • Joint replacement
    • Joint reconstruction
    • Arthroscopy
    • Fracture repair
    • Soft tissue repair
    • Osteotomy – surgery to correct bone deformity
  • Rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries, including recommending exercises and physiotherapy


You need a referral from a doctor to see an orthopaedic surgeon.

How to access

Ask your doctor about how to make an appointment with your orthopaedic surgeon.


Orthopaedic surgeon services may be partly or fully covered by Medicare.

Orthopaedic surgeon fees are covered by some private health funds, but the amount will depend on your insurance policy. Contact your insurer for more information.



Conventional healthcare


Regulated by Australian Health PractitionerAgency (AHPRA)


Orthopaedic surgeons must be registered through the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS).Orthopaedic surgeons must be registered through the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), with the Medical Board of Australia.

Minimum qualifications

The minimum education requirement for an orthopaedic surgeon is Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS(Orth)).


  • Take results of any tests with you (such as x-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs).