How much money does an orthopedic surgeon make?

Orthopaedic surgeons are doctors that treat ailments that relate to the musculoskeletal system in the body. According to the Hip and Knee Institute, these surgeons have high intellectual capacity, strong mechanical abilities and manual dexterity and the ability to visualise things in three-dimensions. If you possess these skills, you may be able to ascend to the six-figure salary of an orthopaedic surgeon.


An orthopaedic surgeon has the primary tasks of treating and diagnosing conditions in areas of the body like the joints, muscles, ligaments, bones, nerves and tendons. According to Degree Finders, some of the conditions that these surgeons treat include degenerative diseases, congenital conditions, sports injuries, musculoskeletal trauma and fractures. They may use technologically advanced surgical procedures, such as those that involve lasers, to treat damaged joints and remove torn cartilage. Orthopaedic surgeons work closely with other professionals in the health care field and are available to talk about options for treatment with patients.


Like the path to most medical professions, orthopaedic surgery requires more than a decade of school and training. After receiving a four-year bachelor's degree, prospective orthopaedic surgeons must go to medical school, which usually lasts around four years. Many doctors follow up medical school with a one-year internship in a related field. Next, orthopaedic surgeons must go to one year of general surgery training and four years of orthopaedic training in a residency program, according to Degree Finders.

Some surgeons can follow up this training with fellowships in sub-fields of orthopaedics such as spine surgery and sports medicine. Lastly, orthopaedic surgeons must become certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and must be recertified every seven to 10 years.

Base Salary

As of December 2010, the average annual base salary for the middle 50 per cent of orthopaedic surgeons is between £201,581 and £371,233, according to Salary Wizard. The median base salary is £265,106. The highest 10 per cent of orthopaedic surgeons can make more than £467,857. This salary varies depending on the specialisation of the orthopaedic surgeon, the doctor’s experience and the location of the doctor.


On average, an orthopaedic surgeon stands to make more than £65,000 worth of benefits annually. This includes £32,628 worth of time off, £7,962 of pension benefits and £8,148 worth of Social Security. Other benefits include £6,051 toward a 401k or 403b plan, £2,651 of disability and £3,966 of health care, reports Salary Wizard. These benefits may be higher or lower depending on where the doctor is on the base salary spectrum.

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About the Author

Bryan Cohen has been a writer since 2001 and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double degree in English and dramatic art. His writing has appeared on various online publications including his personal website Build Creative Writing Ideas.

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