Choosing the right orthopaedic surgeon is essential to ensure your surgery is a success. A knee replacement is the opportunity to reclaim your active lifestyle, so selecting a quality surgeon who is experienced with this procedure is crucial. Not only do you want an orthopaedic surgeon who has a history of successful knee replacements, but also someone you feel comfortable with asking questions and voicing concerns along the way. Here are some guidelines to follow when selecting an orthopaedic surgeon.
Step #1 – Do Your Research
It’s possible to find a board-certified knee replacement surgeon by doing some research online. Several medical associations, such as the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offer lists of surgeons who are qualified.
Step #2 – Ask for Referrals
While it’s okay to begin your search for an orthopaedic surgeon online, referrals from an individual in the medical field are an excellent resource. Your primary care physician may have a list of experienced orthopaedic surgeons who provide knee replacements in the area, or your physical therapist may be able to recommend surgeons with a history of successful outcomes.
Step #3 – Check with Your Insurance Provider
As you consider orthopaedic surgeons, take time to verify with your insurance provider to ensure surgeons you’re considering are covered by your plan of care. If you choose a surgeon who isn’t covered by your provider, you could end up paying a significant amount out-of-pocket for your surgery.
Step #4 – Talk with Friends, Family, and Colleagues
Speak with your friends, family, and colleagues that have undergone knee replacement surgery in the past about their surgeon and experience. They may be able to provide insight and offer suggestions.
Step #5 – Look for Reviews from Previous Patients
It’s always great to learn more about what other patients have to say about the orthopaedic surgeon, and this can give you a closer look at how the medical practice is managed. Reviews from previous patients can help you learn more about experiences with office staff, scheduling, wait times, trust with the physician, and how well the surgeon answers any patient questions.
Step #6 – Review Education and Credentials
Reviewing the surgeon’s background is essential, and you should spend time looking at the surgeon’s credentials, education, training, and degrees. Make sure the surgeon is board-certified by a credible association, such as the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons. You’ll also want to check to see if there are any malpractice claims or disciplinary actions in the surgeon’s past. Beyond medical school and training hospitals, look for surgeons who have used continuing education to expand their knowledge of new devices, new technologies, and cutting-edge surgical approaches.
Step #7 – Write Down Questions to Ask
Before you meet with an orthopaedic surgeon you’re considering for your knee replacement surgery, think about the questions you may have about the physician, his experience, your surgical options, and the procedure. Write these questions down so you don’t forget about them when you meet face-to-face. A good surgeon will be happy to spend time with you answering all of your questions and concerns, so you are comfortable with them and the procedure.
Step #8 – Schedule a Consultation
Schedule a consultation with the orthopaedic surgeons you’re considering. The consultation is the time to talk to them about your specific situation, ask questions you have for them, and to get their opinion about your case. It’s a good idea to talk to the surgeon about their experience with similar cases, their knee replacement success rate, and where the surgery will be performed. Pay attention to the bedside manner of the surgeon and whether he/she spends enough time with you answering your questions. The goal of this consultation is to help you decide if this is the right surgeon for your knee replacement surgery.
Step #9 – Consider Getting a Second Opinion
A great surgeon won’t have a problem with you going to get a second opinion, and they’ll even be happy to talk to you about that opinion as well. If you get a second opinion to put your mind at ease, it’s a good idea to choose another orthopaedic surgeon from a different hospital or practice.
Step #10 – Trust Your Instincts
In the end, trust your instincts when making the final decision. Take into account your research, referrals, and consultations. Ultimately, choose the surgeon you feel comfortable with and confident in their abilities.
Why O’Grady Orthopaedics?
Dr. Christopher O’Grady at O’Grady Orthopaedics is specialized in performing knee replacement surgeries. As an Arthroscopy Association of North America instructor, he focuses on cutting-edge, advanced surgical techniques, ensuring he’s up to date on the latest surgical approaches. Every patient is offered the highest level of care, and Dr. O’Grady and the entire staff work to treat every patient with compassion and concern. If you need a knee replacement surgery, set up a consultation with Dr. O’Grady today to discuss your options.