Orthopedic surgery covers a broad range of treatment types, from spine surgery to knee replacement. People require orthopedic care for sports injuries, age-related “wear and tear” conditions and traumatic injuries as well, and there are orthopedic surgeons who specialize in each area. What this means is that finding the best orthopedic surgeon near you will not be the same for everyone.
If you’re trying to find an orthopedic surgeon to help you overcome chronic pain and mobility problems so you get back to work, spend more time with your family or return to your favorite activities and hobbies, it can be helpful to learn how to narrow your search.
That’s why we’ve created this helpful overview that breaks down the different criteria you can use to select an orthopedic surgeon who is right for you. The Outpatient Joint Replacement Center of America (OJRCA) is happy to help and we invite you to reach out today to learn more.
Does a consultation with an Orthopedic Surgeon mean surgery right away?
Orthopedic surgeons specialize not just in surgery, but they offer a wide range of conservative treatment options and can help educate you in which of those might be right for you in your specific situation. This is especially true for conditions that are the underlying cause of hip and knee joint damage such as early to moderate arthritis as well as sports-related injuries. Conservative treatments can be highly effective in helping patients relieve pain and improve mobility, with many patients achieving an improved quality of life.
Conservative options for orthopedic care include:
- Resting the problem area
- Hot and/or cold compression therapy
- Over-the-counter medication, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and naproxen
- Therapeutic steroid injections
- Viscosupplementation (injection of a natural lubricating fluid, currently only approved for arthritic knees)
- Physical therapy to strengthen joints and improve mobility
- Regenerative medicine options (which tend not to be covered by insurances) such as PRP (platelet rich plasma), Amniotic fluid, stem cells, and even exosomes
Surgery should not become a serious consideration until you have attempted weeks or months of conservative therapies without finding relief. From there, your search should depend on finding a qualified orthopedic surgeon that specializes in the type of procedure you require.
In the case of severe knee joint or hip joint damage, common surgical options are knee replacement and hip replacement procedures. This type of orthopedic surgery removes the damaged surface of a joint and replaces it with an artificial implant designed to restore function and reduce pain. Advances and innovations in treatment protocols and surgical technology have helped shorten recovery times and improve return of function.
Checklist to Finding the Best Orthopedic Surgeon
The best orthopedic surgeon in your area will be different for each person, but there are some basics to start with. Practicing as an orthopedic surgeon requires many years of schooling and training. The best orthopedic surgeons will also demonstrate a commitment to ongoing education and excellence through board certification from organizations such as the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, or AAOS.
- First, orthopedic surgeons need to have graduated from an accredited medical school. The next step will be completing a surgical residency followed by a fellowship in their chosen area of specialty. This fellowship year allows for specialized training under the direction of seasoned specialists in the chosen subspecialty. Orthopedic surgeons then become eligible to sit for the board examination to receive AAOS certification.
- You should also plan on researching the reputation of any prospective surgeon online, but make sure to read enough reviews to develop a clear consensus. Don’t let a few overly positive, or negative, reviews sway you in one direction or another.
- Credentials and reputation count, but so do personal connections. Trust your instincts when checking out a practice and meeting an orthopedic surgeon. Do you feel comfortable and at ease? Does he or she answer your questions and explain conditions and procedures? Undergoing surgery is often one of the biggest decisions you will make and you should never feel rushed or pressured.
- Factor in your experience with other staff members and the clinic or surgery center itself too. You should expect to be greeted and treated in a friendly manner by everyone you come into contact with. Any and all facilities should be comfortable, clean, well lit and equipment should be maintained and functioning.
OJRCA and Dr. Philip Clifford are Committed to Providing the Best Orthopedic Care
For more than 20 years, AAOS board-certified orthopedic surgeon Philip Clifford, MD — Dr. Flip to his patients and team — has been helping patients with hip and knee pain receive the high quality orthopedic care they deserve. If you’re ready to start exploring orthopedic treatment options, including minimally invasive outpatient knee replacement and hip replacement, let OJRCA help you find the options that are right for you. Our overriding commitment is to provide the highest level of patient-centric care to everyone who comes to us for relief.
To learn more, reach out to our caring team today online or call (813) 492-4412.