Orthopedic doctors use surgery as a last resort for musculoskeletal issues. They do everything that they can to delay it as long as possible in favor of less invasive treatments such as medication and physical therapy. When these treatments no longer provide relief for pain and other symptoms, they may recommend surgery. Some of the most common surgeries that orthopedic doctors perform include back surgery, and ankle, knee, shoulder, and hip replacements. They also perform a variety of arthroscopic procedures, which allow them to visualize, diagnose, and treat problems inside of a joint.