If you are experiencing joint pain as the result of an accident or a chronic condition, your primary doctor may refer you to an orthopedist specially trained in diagnosing and treating conditions involving the musculoskeletal system.
After careful examination of your particular disorder, your orthopedist will recommend a course of treatment that may include a corrective surgical procedure. If so, here are 10 questions you should ask your orthopedic surgeon upfront:
Why is this procedure being recommended?
Depending on the severity and location of your joint pain, along with other factors, your surgeon will suggest the most suitable option for your condition and will explain the reasons for doing so.
What is the success rate for this procedure?
This information can help you and your orthopedic doctor determine whether the procedure is likely to provide relief from your symptoms.
What are the risks associated with this procedure?
All surgical procedures involve certain risks however major or minor. Your orthopedic surgeon should inform of these and explain the steps you can take to reduce these risks prior to and following the procedure.
Will I require additional surgery after this one?
This is a valid question since not all procedures are successful and some only provide a certain amount of pain relief.
How is this procedure performed?
You’ll want a detailed explanation of the steps involved in your surgery, what instruments will be used, and how long the procedure usually takes.
What type of anesthesia will be used and what are the risks?
While minor surgery might only require a local anesthetic to numb the pain, a major procedure is likely to require general anesthesia. Your surgeon can explain the risks associated with the latter.
Will I be in pain after the procedure?
Some degree of discomfort is to be expected after undergoing surgery. Find out how much pain you can expect while you’re recovering and whether you’ll be prescribed any medications.
How long will my recovery take?
You need to be aware that some surgical procedures can take several months or as long as a year for you to fully recover. Your surgeon can give you a reasonable estimate.
When will I be able to go back to work and/or my regular activities?
Your surgeon will let you know when you can resume normal activities, such as driving or exercising, depending on the type of procedure you’ll undergo. That includes how long you’ll need to avoid more strenuous activities.
What if I decide not to undergo this procedure at this time?
You should feel confident and comfortable about undergoing surgery, not pressured into doing it. Before you make that determination, have your surgeon explain what could happen if you decide to postpone surgery. Find out specifically whether your joint pain will worsen and potentially limit your activities.
At Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches, we encourage our patients to ask questions about their medical care. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in general orthopedics, sports medicine, total joint replacements, and more. Personalized Orthopedics also offers many on-site services for patient convenience – including physical therapy. If you are suffering from an orthopedic issue, call 561-733-5888 today to make an appointment with one of our experts.