Having surgery on any part of the body is a serious matter. Choosing a qualified surgeon to perform the necessary surgery is crucial, especially when it comes to orthopedic surgery that involves mobility. Whether suffering with back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain or any other orthopedic pain, oftentimes surgery is required to repair bones or joints to relieve pain and reinstate full mobility. When choosing an orthopedic surgeon, there are some things that should be considered.
Education, credentials and experience are the most important things that an individual should be concerned with when choosing an orthopedic surgeon. If a family doctor writes a referral for a surgeon they are most likely to send their patients to experienced, well trained doctors. Talking with friends who have had any experience with an orthopedic surgeon can sometimes help choose a surgeon if the friend’s surgery was done successfully and they approve of the doctor.
Good surgeons should have the latest and most advanced equipment for testing such as MRI machines and x-ray equipment. These devices provide the best images of bones, joints and tissue to help the surgeon know exactly what is causing the pain and what treatment can be done to repair it. They should use professional radiologists to read the x-rays and patients should be shown these images while the surgeon explains exactly what the source of the pain is being caused from.
Talking with the surgeon and asking questions about the procedure will help patients decide if they want that surgeon to operate on them. The surgeon should be able to answer all questions and explain the procedure in detail along with risks if any and pre-op procedures as well as post-op recovery time. They should express confidence in the procedure and provide previous experience with the type of surgery that the patient requires.
Choosing an orthopedic surgeon who has testing equipment and a radiologist on the premises can help prevent going from place to place for MRI’s and x-rays and these orthopedic surgeons usually have test results available quickly without the wait time that is often experienced with patients, which prolongs pain and discomfort.
Another thing to consider when choosing an orthopedic surgeon is whether they are trained in advanced surgical procedures such as arthroscopic knee surgery, which can be performed in an outpatient facility where oftentimes patients are able to walk out the the facility without the need of crutches or strong pain medications. This type of surgery requires less time to complete, leaves less scarring and is less traumatic on the body.
When visiting an orthopedic surgeon for the initial consultation, the surgeon should do a thorough examination, provide a diagnosis after test results and offer a treatment plan. They should also provide assistance with insurance matters and set up physical rehabilitation when necessary.
After a shoulder injury in college I have dedicated my life to orthopedic surgery. I know first hand what it feels like to undergo surgery on one of the many joints we take for granted.
John G. Wilson