Top Questions for Your Orthopedic Surgeon
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Before having your joint replacement surgery, you will have at least a couple appointments with your orthopedic surgeon for evaluation and examination. It is important to use these appointments to obtain as much information you can and get all your questions answered about the surgery, preparation, and recovery after surgery.
It is important to plan before your appointment and write down any questions you can think of for your surgeon. There is a lot going on and a lot to think about at your appointments and it is easy to forget what you wanted to ask. Having a premade list will help eliminate this possibility.
With this in mind, here are some of the best and most important questions you should ask your surgeon before joint replacement surgery.
1. Why do you think joint replacement surgery is the best option for me? Why might it not be the best option right now? Is there any harm in waiting?
2. What are some alternative options to joint replacement surgery? What are the positives/negatives of these options?
3. How will this surgery help me? What type of outcome should I expect? Physically? Pain level? Activity level? Will I be able to return to….(walking, golf, swimming, etc)
4. What are the best things I can do to prepare for surgery and increase my likelihood of having a good outcome? Physically? Mentally? Overall Health?
5. What should I do to prepare my home environment for after the surgery? Will I need someone available to help me after surgery?
6. Do I need to make any changes to my medications?
7. What should I do the night before and morning of surgery? When should I stop eating and drinking? What medicine should I take? When should I be at the hospital, and what should I bring with me?
8. Can you tell me some of the specifics of the joint replacement surgery? Materials? Surgical technique? Partial or full replacement? Anything unique or different?
9. What are some of the possible risks or complications of surgery? What can I do to reduce these risks?
10. What will my hospital stay be like? Will I have any restrictions or precautions? How long will I be there? Will I receive physical therapy? What other medical treatment will I receive?
11. What does recovery and rehabilitation look like? What is the likelihood of having to go to a rehabilitation facility? Will I possibly have home care? What is the expected duration and frequency of outpatient physical therapy?
12. Will I have a lot of pain? What ways can I effectively manage the pain?
13. What does my health insurance cover? What do I have to pay? Deductible? Co-pay? Co-insurance? Where can I learn more about my health insurance coverage?
14. Will I have any appointments with you after the surgery? When might I expect to meet with you or someone from your office?
15. How long should my joint prosthesis last? What should I do or avoid doing to improve the longevity of my joint replacement?
16. Do you have any additional informational resources you can direct me to?
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