Suffering from intractable hip or knee pain? Your best bet is to consult an orthopedic surgeon, a physician who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of the full range of conditions and injuries affecting the musculoskeletal system: the bones, joints, and soft tissues. An orthopedic surgeon will perform a thorough evaluation to determine your eligibility for hip or knee surgery.
However, given the thousands of orthopedic surgeons in the United States, choosing the right one can both be challenging and time-consuming.
If you’re not sure about where to start, here are a few tips to help streamline both the search and decision-making process.
Tip#1 Gather recommendations.
A good starting point is to ask your primary care physician (PCP) for a referral. This is the best course of action, especially if you have health insurance, which may not cover the costs of your care unless you get a referral from PCP.
If you don’t have health insurance. you can choose to ask your family members, colleagues, and other people you trust for recommendations in addition to what your PCP already gave you. The Internet is also replete with resources; it can greatly help with your search for the right orthopedic surgeon within your location.
Tip#2 Consider the surgeon’s credentials and level of experience.
As with choosing any other type of medical practitioner with whom to entrust your care, board certification is one of the most important considerations when choosing an orthopedic surgeon. It is a good indicator of competence and training and thus gives you the assurance that the specialist you’re seeing is qualified and knowledgeable.
Use the provider portal of American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS) to verify the board certification status of your potential candidates. There are also websites you can check to know whether the orthopedic surgeon is clear of any malpractice cases.
It also pays to make sure that you choose an orthopedic surgeon who has extensive experience in handling your specific condition. Keep in mind that orthopedics is a vast field, and orthopedic surgeons have various subspecialties. If, for instance, the type of surgery you need is a knee replacement, you need to work with an orthopedic surgeon who has a proven track record of successful knee replacement procedures. The level of experience an orthopedic surgeon has boosts your assurance that both the quality of care and treatment outcome you will get will match or even exceed your expectations.
Tip#3 Check the surgeon’s reputation.
Albeit not the only deciding factor, patient reviews say a lot about an orthopedic surgeon’s reputation and help you choose one with greater confidence. Top physician review sites include Google My Business and Healthgrades. You can also find some on the practice’s website itself and/or their social media page.
Patient reviews are typically about treatment outcomes, staff courtesy and friendliness, ease of booking appointments, doctor’s bedside manner, and overall patient experience.
Tip#4 Arrange an appointment with the surgeon.
Arrange to meet with the orthopedic surgeon in person. It’s one thing to read about them; it’s another to get a first-hand experience of their communication style and bedside manner. This is also a foolproof way to ascertain your compatibility with the surgeon.
The right orthopedic surgeon for you is not just one who has the expertise and experience, but also one who takes the time to listen and understand your concerns, explains your treatment options, and genuinely cares about the outcome of your treatment and your overall health.
Pay attention to how the orthopedic surgeon talks to you and answers your question. If you feel comfortable and confident that they can deliver the care you need, they are likely the one you’re looking for.
Highly Skilled Orthopedic Surgeon in Fort Lauderdale, FL
To experience an unparalleled quality of orthopedic care in Lauderdale, seek the expertise of one of South Florida’s renowned orthopedic surgeons—Dr. Paul Meli. Over the course of his career, Dr. Meli has performed thousands of successful surgical procedures, including total knee replacement procedures, knee arthroscopy, rotator cuff repairs, and ACL reconstruction, helping scores of patients live free from pain and movement limitations. You can rest assured that he can help you as well!
To arrange a consultation with Dr. Meli, give us a call at (954) 324-7711, or use this link to request an appointment.