People seek out orthopedic surgeons for a wide variety of reasons, from spine surgery to shoulder to knee replacement procedures. In most cases, patients should only consider surgery if conservative treatment options have been fully exhausted without bringing the relief necessary for a good quality of life. 

Conditions such as arthritis and sports-related injuries can affect relationships, work, hobbies and your ability to participate in sports and exercise. This inactivity can lead to a downward spiral that can worsen symptoms and make it difficult to be proactive about treatment. It’s critical to never just give up on pain and mobility problems, and for many, finding the right orthopedic surgeon can be a key step toward lasting relief. 

If you live in Florida, orthopedic Tampa surgeons are widely available, but it can be hard to know where to begin your search. That’s why we created this practical guide to help you find a surgeon who is right for your needs and treatment goals. If you have any questions or just want to learn more about treatment for your condition, please reach out to the Outpatient Joint Replacement Center of America (OJRCA) team today. 

Step One: Basic Qualifications for Florida Orthopedic Tampa Surgeons 

Basic qualifications are important for finding any physician, and an orthopedic surgeon practicing in the Tampa Bay should meet the following requirements:

  • A degree from an accredited medical school
  • Completion of a surgical residency and fellowship
  • Licensed to practice in Florida 

One more qualification that anyone should check for is to make sure a prospective surgeon is board certified. Orthopedic surgeons should be board certified by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). Board certification represents the highest commitment to patient-centered care, continuing education and the latest advancements in the field of orthopedics. Orthopedic surgeons undergo a rigorous and comprehensive examination of their skills and knowledge while completing a thorough review of their history and background. 

AAOS board certification is time-limited, with surgeons having to renew their certification every 10 years. It is important to ensure that any board certified surgeon in Tampa Bay has a current certification. 

Step Two: Research the Reputation and Practice of Any Prospective Florida Orthopedic Surgeon

Patients can find orthopedic surgeons in Tampa through any number of methods. One of the most common is through physician referral, and if you know and trust your general practitioner or specialist, you should absolutely consider his or her advice. Patients also often reach out to family, friends and coworkers for recommendations, but it is important to make sure that anyone you speak to has a relevant condition for what you are seeking. Additionally, thanks to the internet, people have a greater capacity to conduct independent searches for prospective surgeons than ever before. 

No matter how you conduct your search for an orthopedic surgeon, thorough research on background and reputation is very important. In addition to contacting the state medical board regarding any disciplinary and corrective action or public complaints for a prospective surgeon, online research can also be beneficial as long as it is conducted thoroughly. 

When visiting any website that grades or rates physicians, make sure it is not biased and that the ratings are based off of a representative sample size and real patients. 

Step Three: Meet With Prospective Florida Orthopedic Tampa Surgeons to Find the Right One for You

There are several key ways to narrow down your search for an orthopedic surgeon. Maybe the most important is to ensure that he or she specializes in the type of treatment you require. If you are suffering from severe knee joint damage due to a condition such as arthritis or from long-term injury trauma, your surgeon should have deep experience in performing knee replacement surgery. 

Orthopedics is a broad area of specialty and positive treatment outcomes often depend on surgeons who focus on treating a specific part of the body, such as the spine, or the hips and knees. Relevant experience counts. 

Equally important is the approach to surgery itself. State-of-the-art technology, advanced techniques and anesthesia protocols have made outpatient surgery possible for orthopedic procedures such as hip replacements and partial or total knee replacements. There are a wide array of benefits to outpatient procedures, from the potential for a faster recovery time to reduced risk of complication. 

Personal connections and trust also count. At OJRCA, our policy is treating patients like they are family. From first contact to last preoperative visit, we give each patient the respect and attention they deserve so they can get back to a better quality of life. 

Learn more about leading Florida Orthopedic Practice OJRCA today

OJRCA and board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Philip Clifford have deep roots in the Tampa Bay area. For years, we’ve been providing patient-centered and highly personalized care that helps people return to a healthy and active lifestyle. If you’re seeking a top Tampa orthopedic surgeon, contact us today to learn more


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