The word orthopedic comes from the Greek words "orthos" meaning straight and "paidion" meaning child. Originally, orthopedics mainly focused on treating children with scoliosis but today the discipline includes all types of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system, i.e. joints, bones and muscles.
The consequences of musculoskeletal diseases and injuries are enormous for affected individuals as well as for the health care system and the society. Next to the category mental and substance use disorders, the musculoskeletal diseases category is the main contributor to the global disease burden in terms of years lived with disability. The socio-economical costs due to work loss resulting in sick leave is well illustrated by statistics from 2016 compiled by the Swedish National Insurance Agency showing that musculoskeletal diseases accounted for 19% of all sickness benefit costs among women and 24% among men, corresponding to 4.0 billion SEK for women and 3.0 billion SEK for men.