According to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), more than 150 different musculoskeletal conditions can affect various parts of the human locomotor system, including bones, muscles, joints, tendons, etc. These conditions are sometimes brought on by sudden injury which can cause short-term issues such as sprains, strains or fractures, but they can also be the result of years of muscle abuse or disability, leading to longer-term effects.
In either case, consulting an orthopedic surgeon can effectively address a musculoskeletal condition before it progresses further. Finding the right surgeon can be a challenge, however, as you will likely have questions:
What are the doctor’s qualifications? How can you be confident the problem will be properly diagnosed? Will you have to travel far to find the best orthopedic care? What sort of follow up is involved? And most concerning: What if the treatment makes the issue worse? These are natural concerns that can make sufferers of muscular pain hesitate before reaching out to an orthopedic surgeon.
So how to make it less challenging? Here is a list of tips that we think will aid in your search for the ideal orthopedic expert. Consider the following:
Gathering testimonials from patients who have been treated by a particular surgeon can naturally be of help. These patients (both former and current) can offer their unique perspectives by giving you specific insights from their own experiences. Query family and friends, and even check with your healthcare providers as they will have more contacts in the medical field. Create a list of potential doctors and set appointments to meet each of them before committing to one.
As with any doctor, you will have close contact with your orthopedic surgeon. Ideally this doctor is someone with whom you feel comfortable sharing personal details. If a particular gender is important to you, this may be a factor to consider before making your selection.
How well does a potential candidate communicate with you during that initial consultation? Do they clearly and adequately answer your questions and explain procedures? Or do they appear rushed or even vague in a way that leaves you less than satisfied with the information? How they respond to you during that first meeting will likely be an indicator of how they will communicate with you going forward.
Investigate Their Work History
One of the most effective ways to vet the skills of an orthopedic surgeon is by researching their work history. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Vonda Wright, for example, sets the standard in her field. An authority on active aging and mobility, Dr. Wright serves as the inaugural Chief of Sports Medicine and Orthopedics for Northside Health System in Atlanta, and was the Inaugural Medical Director of the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. Dr. Wright’s pioneering research is changing the way we view and treat the aging process. She is a media expert, regularly appearing on national television (“Dr. Oz,” “The Doctors”) and frequently quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and USA Today. Dr. Wright has also authored five books and is an international speaker.
With a few recommendations and proper research, you can ease the challenge of finding your ideal orthopedic surgeon. Good luck.