When it comes to the types of surgeries performed, orthopedic surgery could easily be deemed as one of the most common. In 2017, the number of surgeries performed that were orthopedic in nature topped more than 22 million across the planet. Even more noteworthy, orthopedic surgeries tend to be some of the most successful, some even touting near 100-percent success rates.
If you have been told you need a knee replacement, shoulder surgery, or another orthopedic procedure, you do have some say on whom you trust for the surgery. But how do you choose the right surgeon when so many are available? Here are a few tips on how to choose an orthopedic surgeon.
1. Get a Referral List from Your Primary Care Provider
Usually, the first best place to start your search for the most fitting surgeon is your primary physician. Most doctors will be highly familiar with different surgeons in the area because they have referred other patients and may sometimes be involved in aftercare once their patient has undergone a procedure. Therefore, your doctor can offer a great deal of insight into which surgeons offered the best levels of care for other patients who may have been dealing with a similar orthopedic problem.
2. Do a Bit of Research to Get to Know Your Options
Learning how to choose an orthopedic surgeon involves research. You can find so much valuable information about different orthopedic surgeons just with a bit of online research. Websites like Healthgrades give you insight into both doctors and medical centers and allows users to offer their own insightful reviews about personal experiences. As you look at the different orthopedic surgeons you have access to, be sure to do a bit of research, read some former patient reviews, and get a look at the credentials of any specific surgeon.
3. Look for a Surgeon with Ample Experience for Your Situation
Most orthopedic surgeons are well-skilled in a number of areas of expertise. However, you will also find specific surgeons are most experienced with certain types of procedures. For instance, you may find that one surgeon is most known for shoulder replacement and another surgeon focuses primarily on partial or full knee replacement surgery. Consider the procedure you need to have performed, and look for a doctor that either specializes in that particular procedure or is known to commonly do that procedure.
4. Consider the Hospital Affiliated with the Orthopedic Surgeon
Most orthopedic surgeons will have some affiliation with a certain hospital, even though some may also perform procedures at different hospitals. For example, at Full Circle Orthopedics, our surgeons are affiliated with Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater and the Largo Medical Center in Largo, FL. The hospital affiliation is important because this is indicative of where your procedure is likely to be performed. If you are more comfortable in or even in closer proximity to a certain hospital, this is a deciding factor to consider.
5. Check with Your Health Insurance Provider
Insurance can be a more practical thing to consider when wondering how to choose an orthopedic surgeon, but what and who your health insurance covers will be a necessity just the same. Some surgeons may be considered in-network, while others may be considered out-of-network, which may affect how much your insurance will cover for the procedure. In short, if a specific surgeon is in-network, it means the care provider may have pre-negotiated or established rates with your insurance company.
6. Consider Going for a Consultation
If you have made it through all the other tips and still find yourself undecided, scheduling a consultation with a few surgeons may be a good idea. You can learn a great deal about a surgeon’s techniques, mannerisms, and how comfortable they make you feel during the initial consultation. Therefore, a simple visit can be an excellent way to help you decide which surgeon makes you feel most at ease about the procedure.
The Best Orthopedic Surgeon Can Make all the Difference in Your Experience
No matter what type of orthopedic procedure it is that you need to have done, understanding how to choose the right orthopedic surgeon can make a huge difference in the entire process. The best surgeon will make sure you fully understand your options, any available procedures and how they will be done, and what to expect during recovery. If you have been told you need shoulder or knee replacement surgery, consider us at Full Circle Orthopedics. Our patient-centered approach is designed to ensure you have the best experience and outcome with your procedure. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our renowned orthopedic surgeons.