You’ve been suffering for some time with pain and discomfort as a result of your knee degeneration and finally you have decided to see an orthopedic doctor for help. Choosing the right orthopedic doctor can be a bit daunting. Here are some things to consider when choosing your orthopedic surgeon.
• Experience – How long has the surgeon been operating? What discipline? How many knee replacement surgeries has he/she performed in a year? In total?
• Talk to friends – Ask people you know which orthopedic doctor they have had or that friends or family have had and what they think of them.
• Discuss with your family doctor – It is important to discuss with your family doctor your desire to have your knee surgery done. He will be able to make a referral so that you can see an orthopedic doctor sooner.
• Education – Review the education, degrees, and training the surgeon has had. Consider where he/she focused their studies.
• Check online – The internet has made it easy to check on doctors. There are many of the regulatory boards that can be easily accessed and provide you with the information you need.
• Trust your instincts – This is something we need to do much more often. So listen to your instincts when it comes to whether a doctor is right for you.
Questions to ask Your Prospective Orthopedic Doctor
• Are you board certified?
• How many of these arthroplasties do you perform each year?
• What implant will you use? How long does it last? Is there anything I should know about this implant?
• What is your infection rate?
• What are the risks of this surgery?
• What is the incidence of short-term complications that you have? (Wound infection, dislocations) long-term complications? (Clicking, popping, unidentified pain)
• How will I be anesthetized? What risks are associated with that anesthesia?
• How long will I be in hospital?
• How long is the recovery from this surgery?
• What kind of pain will I have? How will that be handled?
• Will I need physical therapy? How long?
• What is my restriction after the surgery? For how long?
• What type of improvement will I have after my surgery?
By asking the right questions, you will better understand what your surgery will entail and decide whether it’s right for you. If you decide to go ahead with the surgery, having answers to your questions will make you feel comfortable with your choice of an orthopedic doctor. It also gives you time to decide if you would like to have another orthopedic doctor look at your knee.
If you have been suffering with knee pain and discomfort because your knee degeneration is progressing, and you have finally decided it is time to discuss your options with an orthopedic doctor, you want a doctor that you like, feel confident with, and can put your trust in. In fact, choosing the right doctor is key to not only a successful surgery but also your recovery, because when you are confident in your orthopedic doctor, you are much more likely to respond better and heal faster with fewer complications.