Orthopedics or Orthopaedics? Which one is correct? |

Orthopedics or Orthopaedics? Which one is correct?

We see both spellings in our industry.

In general…

Orthopedic is the preferred American English spelling.

Orthopaedic is the standard British English spelling.


The Origin

The word “Orthopaedics” comes from the Greek words “orthos” – meaning straight – and “paideion” – meaning children… or Straight Child. It was coined by French physician Nicholas Andry when he published Orthopaedia: or the Art of Correcting and Preventing Deformities in Children in 1741.

As with many words derived with the “æ” ligature, simplification to either “ae” or just “e” is common, especially in North America. In the US, the majority of college, university and residency programs, and even the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, still use the spelling with the digraph ae, though hospitals usually use the shortened form.

Elsewhere, usage is not uniform: in Canada, both spellings are acceptable; orthopaedics usually prevails in the rest of the British Commonwealth, especially in the UK.