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What to Know Before Seeing an Orthopedic Surgeon
When they are referred to an orthopedic surgeon, patients often do not know what to expect at their first appointment. Some may not even be aware of the conditions that the surgeon treats. By doing some research and knowing what to expect before the first visit, a patient can be better equipped to have a successful and informative consultation. This can promote a better experience for both the patient and the doctor if everyone is sufficiently informed of treatment plans.
Orthopedic surgeon appointments
During the initial visit with the surgeon, the patient typically has a consultation that seeks to identify the orthopedic abnormalities or injuries causing the unwanted symptoms. The doctor then plans the surgery based on the patient’s needs and monitors progress with physical or occupational therapy.
Many patients find themselves at an orthopedic surgeon’s office on the basis of a referral from another healthcare provider. Whether it is for a broken bone, painful joint condition or dislocation of a bone or joint, the patient typically consults with the doctor before the surgery unless it is an emergency situation. The consultation will allow the doctor and patient to make a personalized treatment plan of the required surgery and the necessary therapy and monitoring afterward. At this time the patient can also ask any questions about the surgical procedure or orthopedic conditions and disclose any pertinent health history that could affect treatment.
Orthopedic surgeons perform many complex surgical procedures. They often repair broken bones that cannot be mended with a regular cast. They also treat patients with painful arthritic conditions that affect daily life. Undergoing surgery is a major step in seeking treatment but is sometimes the only option available for the patient to obtain relief from serious symptoms. The goal of surgery is to correct or manage the conditions for the patient with the understanding that patients may often have to seek ongoing care.
After surgery, the patient typically sees the orthopedic surgeon for a follow-up appointment, and at that time, the doctor can make a decision of whether the patient is ready to be released to normal activity. Often, the patient is expected to continue physical or occupational therapy for a period of time in order to receive the most benefit from the surgery. Depending on the complexity of the case, the patient may be quickly released from the surgeon’s care or may have to routinely visit for continued monitoring of conditions.
Seeing an orthopedic surgeon is an anxiety-provoking appointment for patients who are unaware of what to expect at the meeting. By learning about the medical situations the surgeon handles, the goals of the surgical treatment and the procedure being prescribed, the patient is better able to make an informed decision about the best course of action. Ongoing communication with the surgeon is a critical part of the patient’s recovery. Since each case is different, it will require personalized decisions by the patient and the doctor.
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