Knee surgeons, or orthopedic surgeons, are often consulted as a last resort to deal with knee pain. In many instances, repair and/or replacement become the only options left, once pain medication and physical therapy no longer help relieve discomfort and pain. Your general practitioner can help you decide when surgery becomes the right option. The decision is based on a number of physical tests, examinations and physical therapy programs, as well as your medical history.
Once the decision to have surgery has been made, the process can be a bit overwhelming, and many patients become extremely nervous about the whole process. Well before the date of surgery, however, you will need to have an initial consultation with the surgeon. The entire procedure will be explained, and the surgeon will answer any questions you have.
Choosing the Right Surgeon
Partnering with the right surgeon is paramount to your health and recovery. Again, your general family doctor can help recommend the specialist that is right for you, based on your individual needs. Keep in mind that you do not have to necessarily choose the specialist that your doctor recommends. You can interview several before making your final decision. Choose the surgeon that you are most comfortable with. Your doctor will work with whomever you choose.
Before You Go
It’s important to do your own due diligence and research when choosing the right surgeon. Make sure that they are reputable and talk to your doctor to get his or her input. Before the initial consultation, have a list of questions ready. These may include questions regarding an overview of the procedure, rehabilitation techniques, physical therapy sessions, length of surgery and total recovery time. Be sure to ask about the surgeon’s credentials as well. Make sure you know where the office is located – you don’t want to get lost and show up late, as you may lose your appointment altogether and will have to book another one.
During the Consultation
When you arrive at the office, you will have to register with the administrator. Take a few minutes and look around – is the office well maintained? Is it clean and decorated or does it look like it’s falling apart? Once you are seated in the office and the surgeon sits down with you, they will likely start to explain the specific procedure they will be performing. They will likely refer to various charts and x-rays to give you a personalized account of what will be done. This is also where you will ask questions – bring a notepad and pen so you can write down the answers.
After the Consultation
Once the initial consultation has been completed, your surgeon may want to book another one before the actual surgery takes place. Depending on your individual needs, they may book the surgery right at the initial meeting. Don’t feel pressured into making any decisions if you are uncomfortable. If you’d rather talk to your family doctor first, then by all means go ahead.
It’s critical that you get answers to all of your questions and concerns beforehand. Knee surgeons, as well as other medical professionals, are there to help you through the process and ensure you get the best care possible.