Questions to Ask Your Orthopedic Surgeon Before Surgery
Going to a surgeon can be an intimidating process. You may feel a bit vulnerable putting yourself in their hands, especially when you don't know the surgeon well or don't feel well informed about your different treatment options.
Below are a list of questions that you can ask your orthopedic surgeon to make sure that you are getting the best surgeon, understanding your condition, and selecting the right treatment option.
About the Surgeon
How long have you been in practice? Are you board certified?
Have you seen this condition before? How many times have you performed the recommended procedure?
Will there be other physicians assisting you in the operation? Are they board certified?
Where can I get a second opinion?
About your Condition
What is the source of my pain? What caused the condition?
How will my condition worsen if I decide not to get treated now?
About your Treatment Options
Would you get surgery in my situation? Are there nonsurgical options that you would recommend pursuing beforehand?
What procedure are you recommending and why? Is this procedure minimally invasive or are there minimally invasive alternatives?
What are the potential complications and side effects of this procedure? Are the benefits worth the potential downside?
About your Recovery
How long will recovery from surgery take? Will I be on medications during this time?
How soon will I notice improvements to my condition such as less pain? How significant will the improvements be?
How long before I can shower, drive, go back to work, or exercise?
Who can I call if I have questions after the surgery? What symptoms might I experience after discharge that would require a call?
Running through the list of questions above and seeing how many questions you can answer is a great way to check if you are ready to make your decision for surgery. In addition to the questions above, you may want to ask your surgeon where they will be performing the procedure. Traditionally many surgeries would be done in a hospital and require an extended inpatient stay. With new technology, many of the same procedures can be done in an ambulatory surgery center which has many benefits including shorter wait and procedure times, lower costs, and an easier patient experience.