American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
An orthopaedic surgeon is educated in the preservation, investigation and restoration of the form and function of the extremities, spine and associated structures by medical, surgical and physical means. This specialist is involved with the care of patients whose musculoskeletal problems include congenital deformities, trauma, infections, tumors, metabolic disturbances of the musculoskeletal system, deformities, injuries and degenerative diseases of the spine, hands, feet, knee, hip, shoulder and elbow in children and adults. An orthopaedic surgeon is also concerned with primary and secondary muscular problems and the effects of central or peripheral nervous system lesions of the musculoskeletal system.
Training required prior to initial board certification
Five (5) years.
Board eligible period (+practice requirement)
Five (5) years*
Certification in one of the following subspecialties requires additional training and assessment as specified by the board.
Orthopaedic Sports Medicine
An orthopaedic surgeon educated in Sports Medicine has expertise in the surgical and medical care for all structures of the musculoskeletal system directly affected by participation in sporting activity. This specialist is proficient in areas including conditioning, training and fitness, athletic performance and the impact of dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, and nutrition on performance and health, coordination of care within the team setting utilizing other health care professionals, field evaluation and management, soft tissue biomechanics and injury healing and repair. Knowledge and understanding of the principles and techniques of rehabilitation, athletic equipment and orthotic devices enables the specialist to prevent and manage athletic injuries.
Surgery of the Hand
A surgeon trained in Surgery of the Hand has expertise in the surgical, medical and rehabilitative care of patients with diseases, injuries, and disorders affecting the hand, wrist and forearm. Common conditions treated by a hand surgeon include carpal tunnel syndrome, trigger fingers, ganglia (lumps), sports injuries to the hand and wrist, and hand injuries involving cut tendons, nerves and arteries. Hand Surgeons may be General Surgeons, Orthopedic Surgeons or Plastic Surgeons who have received additional training in this area.
Lifelong learning requirements
- Complete 240 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ relevant to Orthopaedic Surgery every 10 years.
- 40 of the 240 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits must be self-assessment examinations (SAE) or Self-Assessment Activities (SA). SAE are activities produced by organizations other than the ABOS, then approved for MOC credit by ABOS. SAE credit may be earned through:
- Scored and recorded examinations
- Physician Scorecards
*Orthopaedic Surgery candidates have five years to achieve certification after passing the traditional examination.