By Dr Mehjabin Ahmed Submitted On November 13, 2015
Orthopedic ailments related to knee, hip, neck and spine are on the rise, due to the stresses of the modern life style, poor food habits and lack of physical activity. Several forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis etc., also cause the wear and tear of joints. Conservative treatments involving physiotherapy, muscle relaxant drugs and accessories such as neck braces for cervical spondylosis are the first line of treatment. However, when the extent of damage is big, an orthopedic surgery becomes necessary.
Orthopedic surgeries such as knee replacement have come a long way in helping patients get a much needed pain relief. It was first performed in the 1960’s but has now become an extremely safe option. Patients whose knee joints have damaged beyond repair are much better off getting a knee replacement done, than taking pain relief pills for a long duration which can have several side-effects.
If you are planning to undergo any orthopedic surgical procedure, whether it is a surgery of your shoulder, a knee replacement, a total hip replacement, an arthroscopy, spine surgery or any other procedure, make sure that you have chosen the right orthopedic surgeon to get the job done.
Choosing the right orthopedic surgeon is one of the major factors for a successful treatment and a faster recovery so that you can come back to a normal lifestyle.
To choose a right orthopedic surgeon is particularly not easy in a country where processes and system are missing to record the number of surgeries performed by a surgeon/hospital and the outcomes. Even when such systems are available for internal use of the hospital, it’s very difficult for a patient to find out information on how many surgeries are performed by a particular surgeon and what’s the outcome been like.
Still, it is extremely important to find out the doctors who are most skilled and experienced to perform a particular orthopedic procedure. Several research studies have proven that doctors who perform a minimum of 25 or more knee replacement surgeries in a year have the best success rates. Compare this with the fact that surgeons who performed similar procedure in single digits were thrice more likely to cause a post-surgery complication. (Source: Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Volume 95 (8) – Apr 17, 2013)
According to a study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery Spine (2015, Jan), it is mentioned that the patients’ expectations are always influenced by the expert opinions given by their doctors, which later impacts post-surgical recovery. The study was conducted to find out how a surgeon or doctor can help the patients in developing the realistic expectation and increasing the possibility of the best outcome by providing them correct and consistent information. That’s why it is important to find out the doctors, who are well experienced and skilled.
Some of the tips, which can help you to find a best orthopedic surgeon, are:
• Checking the credentials of the orthopedic surgeon: You should always take some time in reviewing about the doctor’s experience, skill, educational background, medical degree, and the training. You should also look if he/she is certified from the board.
• Contact your local doctor: Take help from your local physician, and get a list of the best orthopedic surgeons, who are specialized in the particular area you require. For example, if you want to go for knee replacement, then you should search somebody who has a specialization in that.
• Inquire about the skill: You can evaluate the skill by asking the surgeon various questions like the number of surgeries they perform annually. A highly successful surgical practice means, if the surgeon performs about more than 25 surgeries of a particular type per year. You should also ask how they deal with the complicated cases.
• Go for a consultation: Once you make the list of the orthopedic surgeons, the next step should be to schedule an appointment for consultation with the doctors. Discuss your problem in details with them and take their opinion. The discussion with the doctors will help you decide who the right surgeon for you is.
• Seek a second opinion: Always take a second opinion; even if you are satisfied with your orthopedic surgeon. Then, get the surgery done by the surgeon you are confident with. Do not hesitate to go for an additional opinion, if you are not happy with the second opinion.
• Post-surgery Recovery: Ask questions to your surgeons on the expected period of recovery in case of a normal recovery as well as in case any complications arise. Enquire about the physiotherapy requirements after surgery and whether a physiotherapist will be made available to you from the hospital. Finding a good physiotherapist may not be easy, so before you under-go a surgery, ensure that you have a licensed physiotherapist lined up to give you the required post-surgical physiotherapy treatment.
You should not choose the first orthopedic surgeon you consulted with. Always do a solid research, before you take the final call. In addition, the cost of the surgery should also be discussed with your doctor, and should know if it is covered within your insurance.
If you are considering an orthopedic surgery, it is highly advised that you take few more opinions from other orthopedic surgeons. Healthclues can help you reach out to a panel of expert surgeons who can evaluate your medical case from all aspects, and provide you reliable medical advice on whether a surgery is advised, and what you can expect in terms of post-surgery recovery. Healthclues team can be contacted from its website https://www.healthclues.net
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