When you’re suffering from an orthopedic health issue, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. These types of health issues often come with pain, reduced mobility, and other factors that can impact your lifestyle, ability to work, and eventually your mindset and mood. As a result, it’s important that you do your best to seek fast, effective medical interventions for orthopedic issues. The results can be life changing. The first step in your journey to health isthe right doctor. Here’s a list of questions that you can ask an orthopedic doctor to ensure that he or she is the right fit for your case.
Understand Your Case
Every orthopedic condition typically has two components. The first is a pain factor. The second is a functional one. So it’s important to understand not only what’s causing your condition, but biomechanically how it works. Also take the time to ask smart questions about where you fall on the severity scale, and how you can expect the disease to progress – if at all – in the years ahead. This will help you make informed treatment decisions about your case.
What Treatments are Available?
For every condition, there are a wide variety of potential treatments available that can be used to mitigate pain and restore function. These range from physical therapy to surgery. While in many cases, a permanent solution such as surgery leads to better patient outcomes, it’s beneficial to understand the full range of treatments. If your situation is manageable and unlikely to get worse, you may choose to forego an expensive procedure with a lengthy recovery. In other cases, when you feel terrible and one surgery will restore your quality of life, it’s a no-brainer. Make sure you understand the full range of treatments available to you.
What Does Your Experience Look Like?
Every doctor has a slightly different focus, even if he or she carries the same board certifications. Take the time to understand where your doctor went to school, what certifications he or she has, and what specialties and additional education that the doctor has acquired. One orthopedist may be an expert at hip replacement, while another is the leader in knee replacements. Try to identify a doctor that specializes in what kind of surgery or treatment you need.
What Affect Will This Have on my Life?
It’s fair to say that with every procedure there are a number of concerns. What will you need to do during the procedure? What anesthesia will be used during the treatment? How long does recovery typically take and will you need to spend time in a specialized facility? These details can help you weigh the pros and cons of specific treatment. It’s also helpful from the perspective of planning how much time you’ll need off of work, how to arrange for care and assistance, and any other decisions you’ll need to make about your treatment.
If you’re currently struggling with an orthopedic health issue, don’t delay. The right doctor can help you reduce your pain levels and get back to living your life. Know which questions to ask and you’ll find the right treatment option for your case.
About the author: Tara Homes is a nurse living in Boston. She regularly advises orthopedic patients on their treatment options.