Choosing the Right Orthopedic Surgeon

A successful orthopedic surgery starts with choosing the right orthopedic surgeon.  Orthopedic surgery can eliminate back, knee or hip pain and allow you to live a full and active life.  Knee replacements are among the most common orthopedic surgeries but you still need to start with the right surgeon.  Here are some tips on finding the perfect surgeon for you.

Getting a Referral

When it comes to specialty practices like orthopedics you are going to need a referral from your primary care physician.  You can talk with your doctor about who they recommend or if you already have someone in mind. Your doctor usually works with or has a professional relationship with a local surgeon that they refer patients to.

Start with Their Credentials

You want to find a Board Certified orthopedic surgeon and you should start with talking to your family doctor for a referral.  Board certified means that have had additional training in their specialty and are qualified to perform your operation.  You can also ask them how many of these surgeries that they do every year and if they take on complicated cases.  Here is a look at what it means to work with a Board Certified surgeon.

Have a Consultation

You want to book a consultation with your surgeon.  You want to go over your health issues and get their diagnosis and what you should expect from the surgery.  You should also get a second opinion to see if surgery is your only alternative.  Remember you don’t have to be best friends with your doctor, rather you want a doctor that makes you feel comfortable with their surgical skills.

Post-Surgical Recovery Period

It’s important that you understand what to expect after your surgery.  You need to understand how long you should expect to be laid up, what potential complications can happen.  If you are going to need physiotherapy afterward then you want to know how often you will have to go and for how long.  Bear in mind that surgery may only be the first step on your road to mobility and you may spend months in therapy afterward.

Having surgery is never fun but having a good surgeon in your corner can make all the difference in the world.  You want a surgeon that will take the time to explain to you all of your options.  You want to go into the operating room as a well informed patient, confident that you have made the right decision for your health.


Preparing for Orthopedic Surgery

If you have orthopedic surgery scheduled in the near future it goes without saying that you want the procedure to go as well as possible.  Preparing for orthopedic surgery isn’t that complicated.  Following the steps that the hospital and your surgeon will outline for you will go a long way to ensuring that you have a smooth recovery.  That being said here are some basics guidelines to be ready for your operation.

Arrive Early

On the day of the procedure, it is important that you are there early in case the doctor has any last-minute things that they will have to discuss with you.  You may need additional tests or blood work done beforehand.  Typically you only need to arrive about half an hour to an hour before your scheduled surgery, the doctor will advise you if they need longer.

Don’t Eat or Drink the Night Before

Usually, you aren’t supposed to eat or drink anything from after midnight from the night before.  When you register at the hospital they will give you all the information about your operation and when you have to stop eating.  That means no coffee in the morning!  It is important to follow these instructions as some patients react to the anesthetic and this helps prevent vomiting during surgery.

Bring Your Medication to the Hospital

You need to bring all of your prescriptions with you.  First to ensure that you have your medication when you need it and secondly so that there is no chance of a reaction caused to anything that may be prescribed to you by your surgeon.

Leave Your Valuables at Home

Hospitals will tell you loud and clear that they are not responsible for lost or stolen items.  Leave all of your valuables, including wedding rings or other jewelry at home.  Just pack a change of clothes and your medication, that way when your surgery is over you’re not worrying about losing anything.  At the same time, you can rest easy knowing your things are safe.

Have Patience

Every patient recovers at their own pace, your body needs time to rest and recover.  Your doctor will give you guidelines so you have an idea of what to expect.  You may also have physiotherapy to help you get back on your feet. Give yourself enough time to recover and don’t overdo it or you could set back your recovery and that is the last thing you want.  Follow your doctor’s instructions and you should be fine.