Top 30 Questions to Ask your Orthopedic Surgeon before a Surgery

It is very important to ask questions from your orthopedic surgeon to be comfortable with the procedure and make an informed decision.

An orthopedic treatment is aimed at offering ample relief from pain and restoring normal function. When planning a treatment procedure, your doctor will take into consideration a number of factors such as your general health and wellbeing, age, activity level, etc. When nonsurgical treatment approaches such as physical therapy and medication fail to give results and provide relief from symptoms, the doctor may mention surgery and refer you to one of the best orthopedic surgeons.

Who is an Orthopedic Surgeon?

An orthopedic surgeon is a specialist committed to the diagnosis, complete treatment, prevention and rehabilitation of all kinds of disorders, ailments and injuries related to the musculoskeletal system of the body. The system is comprised of the following body parts:
  • Bones
  • Tendons
  • Nerves
  • Joints
  • Ligaments
  • Muscles
An Orthopedic Surgeon may choose to concentrate on specific fields such as oncology (bone tumors), pediatrics, sports medicine, trauma, reconstructive surgery etc.

What to Expect from a Visit to Orthopedic Surgeon?

General visits usually start with a casual personal interview. Then doctor will also take a physical examination and evaluation of earlier records or tests. The process may be followed by other diagnostic evaluations such as X-rays, blood tests, or imagery. The surgeon will discuss various treatment options with the patient and determine the best plan appropriate for their health. It is very important to ask questions from your orthopedic surgeon to be comfortable with the procedure and make an informed decision. Here is a list of questions that will help you know more about surgery and help with discussions:
  1. What is the reason behind recommending this procedure to me? Is there another alternative?
  2. Can I expect complete improvement from this surgery?
  3. Are there any risks involved with the process?
  4. What is the success rate for this surgery?
  5. What is your experience? Since how many years you have been performing this surgery? How many surgeries have you done earlier?
  6. May I know about your board certification?
  7. Will I be provided with written materials or videotapes about the surgery? Will you give me pre-operative counseling?
  8. Do I need another surgery after this?
  9. Can I avoid this surgery? What will happen if I choose not to go for this surgery now?
  10. What type of tests and evaluations should I go through before the surgery?
  11. Will explain the kind of implant used on me? What is the prosthesis track record for the same?
  12. What type of anesthesia will be used for surgery? What are the risks associated with it and how common these are?
  13. Can I meet with the anesthesiologist in advance? Will the anesthesiologist enquire about my needs and allergies?
  14. Do I need to stop any medications prior to the surgery? May I have a list of those medications?
  15. Is the procedure painful? Will I experience pain during or after the procedure? If yes, then what kind of pain control/relief measures will be taken?
  16. Is a blood transfusion required? Can I avoid it? What are the safety measures?
  17. What is the duration for stay in hospital during and after the surgery?
  18. Do I need to visit a rehabilitative center post-surgery?
  19. When can I go home?
  20. Do I need to endure any complications after surgery? If yes, what are they?
  21. What are the signs of complications after surgery?
  22. Is a physical therapy required after surgery? How soon can I start with the therapy?
  23. Is there a need for outpatient therapy or at-home therapy?
  24. Do I need to make arrangements for at-home assistance? If yes, what will be the duration for the same?
  25. What are the restrictions on regular activities, such as diet, bathing, driving, etc. For how long should I follow this restriction?
  26. What is the frequency for follow-up visits?
  27. How long will complete recovery take?
  28. What will be the discharge instructions?
  29. Is a disability common following surgery?
  30. How long should I wait to return to work/ drive car/ have sexual activity?