How to select the best orthopedic surgeon for yourself

How to select the best orthopedic surgeon for yourself

One’s decision to undergo any major orthopedic surgery is a vital one and not to be trifled with. The rest of one’s life depends on the outcome of the surgery. So, what are the elements that go in making the outcome of the surgery a desired one?

The first and foremost thing to check up on is the surgeon who is going to undertake the replacement treatment; thereafter, comes the device that is going to be used, the hospital where the operation is to be conducted, and the trust, rapport and comfort level you have with the surgeon and the support staff. Listed below are the sources from where one can gather data to choose the best orthopedic surgeon for their surgery.

Information in public domain
Studies have shown that the more the surgeon does a particular type of surgery, the greater is his success rate. A surgeon who does at least 12 operation a year has good success rates. The best surgeon would, however, be doing far more. The general shift of the public and the atmosphere towards transparency has made this information available in the public domain. This information as well as the profiles of surgeons are available on various web sites that specialize in these matters. Institutions like accreditation agencies, colleges, certification boards, etc. all put the information of public importance on the web, even including statistics and data for negligence and disciplinary action taken, among others.

People sources of information
The hunt for any surgeon starts at the primary health provider such as general physicians. He would certainly know who are the leading orthopedic surgeons in the area and the surgeons to whom he refers his more complicated cases. The health workers and pharmacies in the neighborhood are also a virtual gold mine of information. The insurance company is another good source. It has an added advantage in that one would know who are the doctors in their panel. One can also learn about surgeons from anyone in the family, the extended family, friends and one’s acquaintances.

Surgeon qualifications and certifications
The surgeon, other than being qualified, should have additional board-certified qualification in his particular specialty. The three boards of certification that one should usually look for are:

  • American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
  • American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
  • American Medical Association

One can also inquire about centers of excellence in the locality. After shortlisting, one can fix up appointments with each surgeon. During the interaction, observe if the surgeon clears all your doubts and the confidence and the rapport you develop with them. Similarly, observe the conduct of the support staff and decide the surgeon and the clinic for your surgery. Location matters in that it should be convenient for you to go for all follow ups.