Patient Education & Questions
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Questions to Consider About Orthopedic Surgery
At Centura Health, we believe in empowering you to make educated decisions about your own health care through expert guidance. If you’re considering orthopedic surgery, we recommend reading these commonly asked questions that may help you to make the next step in your journey to recovery.
How do I choose a doctor?
To help narrow your search, ask yourself some important questions that can give you a good starting point, like:
- What are my goals? You may be looking for temporary pain relief, a way to increase your ability to accomplish daily tasks, or be interested in permanent relief for a chronic condition.
- Are there specific procedures or techniques I am interested in? Many orthopedic conditions have multiple treatment options. While the orthopedic specialist will have additional information about your options, you may already have an idea what treatment you need based on talking with your primary care doctor.
- Do I want to have access to clinical trials or new approaches to care? You may be interested in trying new treatment methods or perhaps you prefer tried-and-true methods that have consistently been shown to be effective.
- How far am I willing to travel? Depending on your needs, you may need surgery which requires hospitalization or repeated trips for rehabilitation or physical therapy that makes being close to home important.
Once you’ve chosen a doctor or a few to consider, use your first conversation as a way to find out more about your doctor. You may ask:
- What procedures do you perform?
- What procedures and treatments do you recommend for me?
- Have you performed many of the procedures or treatments that I need?
- How many times in the past year have you performed them?
- Who would I be working with on your team?
- Would there be follow-up care? And if so, what would it look like?
After you have spoken with the doctor, take time to consider whether you feel it’s a good fit. Are you confident in his or her ability to perform your procedure or guide you through treatment? Were you able to communicate in a clear and open way? If not, you want to consider continuing your search for find the best fit for you.
Do I need surgery?
Most orthopedic injuries and conditions can be treated without surgery. Treatments can include a wide range of options, including:
- Physical therapy
- Activity modifications.
In some cases, surgery may be needed to solve problems or alleviate symptoms that are not improved with nonsurgical treatments.
The orthopedic specialists at Centura Health are experts at diagnosing orthopedic problems and providing treatment options that appropriately address your specific needs.
What are the benefits of joint replacement surgery?
Joint replacement surgery is designed to help restore mobility and relieve pain. Joint replacement is usually considered when other treatment options have been unsuccessful in addressing joint pain and limited function.
Joint replacement involves replacing damaged joints with a new joint, called a prosthesis.
Typically, joint replacements last longer than 10 years, providing pain-free living and greatly increased mobility that would not be possible without surgery for some individuals. Learn more about joint replacement.
Could I benefit from back surgery?
Back pain is a common condition, with low-back pain affecting more than 30 million Americans at any given time. When treating back pain, nonsurgical treatments are always explored before considering surgery.
The back specialists at Centura Health have a wide range of treatment options that often provide relief for those suffering from back pain, including pain medications, steroid injections and physical therapy. However, some individuals do require surgical solutions to provide long-term relief from back pain. Learn more about our back and spine specialists.