Orthopedic surgery can be a stressful and expensive ordeal. Whether you have undergone surgery before or you’re coming up on your first operation, it’s critical to get an understanding of the type of surgery you need and the surgeon who will be operating on you. 

If you or a loved one is in need of orthopedic surgery, it’s sometimes difficult or confusing to do your research before choosing a surgeon. There are many qualified orthopedic surgeons out there, but not all of them are the right fit for you. Here are five questions to ask before making your decision:

What to Ask Your Orthopedic Surgeon

What Are Your Credentials?

All orthopedic surgeons are required to have a medical degree and complete an orthopedic surgery residency. After that, they may choose to sub-specialize in a certain area of orthopedics, such as sports medicine, shoulder surgery, or spine surgery. 

Some orthopedic surgeons also choose to get board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. This is a voluntary process that requires passing written and oral exams.

Do You Have References I Can See?

A good orthopedic surgeon should be able to provide you with references from other patients who have had similar procedures done. These references can give you an idea of what your own experience might be like working with this particular surgeon. It might be a good idea to speak with their past patients and get a better understanding of their bedside manner and overall experience.

Have You Done a Similar Operation Before?

If you’re having a specific type of orthopedic surgery, it’s important to find out if your surgeon has performed that particular procedure before. Ask them how many times they’ve done the operation and what the success rate has been. It’s also important to make sure they’re performing the surgery at an accredited hospital with a good reputation.

Is Your Orthopedic Surgeon In-Network With Your Insurance?

Before choosing an orthopedic surgeon, be sure to check with your insurance company to see if they’re in-network. This can save you a lot of money in the long run, as out-of-network surgeons can be quite expensive. Even if you have to pay a little bit more for an in-network surgeon, it will be worth it in the end.

What Should I Expect For Recovery?

After you’ve chosen your orthopedic surgeon, be sure to ask them what you can expect for your recovery. This is important to know so that you can plan accordingly. Ask them how long the surgery will take, how long you’ll be in the hospital, and what kind of physical therapy or rehabilitation you’ll need afterward.

The Bottom Line

By asking these questions, you can be sure that you’re choosing the right orthopedic surgeon for your needs. If you have any other questions or concerns, be sure to speak with your doctor about them. They will be able to help put your mind at ease.

If you have further questions regarding your shoulder pain, injury, or need for surgery, please contact Dr. M. Daniel Hatch with The Orthopaedic Partners. He specializes in shoulder and elbow orthopedic surgery and can help you through every step of the process. He is available to answer any questions you might have and help you make the best decision for your orthopedic needs.