What is Orthopedics?
Orthopedics is the medical specialty that focuses on injuries and diseases of your body's musculoskeletal system. This complex system includes your bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves and allows you to move, work, and be active.
Once devoted to the care of children with spine and limb deformities, orthopedists now care for patients of all ages, from newborns with clubfeet to young athletes requiring arthroscopic surgery to older people with arthritis. And anybody can break a bone.
Orthopedic surgeons treat many musculoskeletal conditions without surgery, by using medication, exercise and other rehabilitative or alternative therapies. For most orthopedic diseases and injuries there is more than one form of treatment. If necessary, he/she may also recommend surgery if you do not respond to other treatments.
(Source: Taken directly from http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00099#Treatment)