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Selecting a Surgeon

What should you look for in an orthopedic surgeon?

When you are in need of orthopedic surgery, research is important. You’ll want to find a highly recommended surgeon with the strongest skills and most experience in the specific area of surgery that you need. Extensive data has shown a direct correlation between the number of times a surgeon performs a procedure and the success rate. The more experience the doctor has with the surgery, the better the patient outcomes.
 
Take the time to research the credentials of the doctors you are evaluating and ensure they are board certified. Check resources such as the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons for extensive information about orthopedic procedures and to verify your surgeon has been certified. Websites such as Healthgrades.com and Vitals.com provide patient reviews of doctors and details on a physician’s experience.
 
Ask for referrals from your primary care physician, other healthcare providers, family and friends. Make a consultative appointment with doctors you are considering to develop a comfort level with them and discuss the surgery and their experience. During this consultation, consider using the below questions to help guide your research.

 

10 Questions to ask during a surgical consultation

  1. What procedure or treatment do you recommend for me?
  2. How will this procedure help my condition?
  3. Are there alternatives to this surgical procedure?
  4. Do you perform the recommended procedure or refer me to someone else?
  5. How many times have you performed this procedure in the past year?
  6. What complications do you encounter with this procedure and how often do they happen?
  7. Do you follow up with patients after surgery?
  8. How skilled is the medical team involved in the procedure and follow up care?
  9. What will my care after surgery include?
  10. How long does it take for patients to recover from this procedure?