Chronic pain and loss of mobility from degenerative arthritis or a traumatic injury have significant negative effects on your ability to work, play sports, exercise, socialize, and enjoy time with friends and family. Joint replacement surgery can vastly reduce pain, improve functional mobility and help you return to the life you once had.
If you think you may need joint replacement surgery now or in the near future, finding the right orthopedic surgeon is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in the surgical process. And if you live in the Tampa, FL area, where orthopedic doctors and clinics abound, narrowing down your choices to the most appropriate clinic may seem overwhelming.
We’re here to help you get started. We’ve created a comprehensive checklist with all the factors you should consider before making a final decision. We encourage you to print out this list and check off each item as you move through the search process. If you follow this list to the end, you can feel confident that you have all the information you need to choose the best Tampa, FL orthopedic surgeon for your needs.
Do Your Research
First up is the research phase. The factors outlined below will help you weed out the not-so-reputable practices from your list of choices.
- Ask someone close to you for a recommendation. You can certainly take to the internet and Google orthopedic clinics in the Tampa area, but why not start your search by asking trusted friends, family members, neighbors, and coworkers for a recommendation? Close friends would never recommend a clinic where they had a bad experience.
- Ask your PCP for a recommendation. Does your primary care physician recommend a specific orthopedic clinic? It’s likely that your PCP has knowledge of and connections with other medical professionals in the area, making him or her a great resource for advice and recommendations.
- Read online reviews. See what other patients have to say about their experiences with Tampa orthopedic clinics. You can find helpful reviews on sites like Google My Business, Yelp, ZocDoc, Healthgrades, Vitals, and RateMDs. Make sure to read multiple reviews to gain the clearest picture possible of the clinic.
- Verify education and credentials. You can eliminate a surgeon right away if they don’t have the necessary credentials to treat your problem. Make sure your Tampa surgeon has the following:
- A medical degree from an accredited medical school
- Completion of a surgical residency
- Completion of fellowship training in a surgical subspecialty
- An active Florida medical license (verify here: FL DOH)
- Board certification (verify here: American Board of Orthopedic Surgery)
- A clean history (no emergency actions, discipline cases, or public complaints)
Schedule a Consultation
The research you’ve done is incredibly valuable, but it doesn’t tell you the whole story about the clinics left on your list. We recommend scheduling an initial consultation to help you learn more. The bulleted points below contain questions to ask at your consultation.
- Ask about relevant experience. Experience matters when it comes to choosing an orthopedic surgeon. You want to find a surgeon who has vast experience successfully treating the specific part of your body that needs care. And if you are considering surgery, you want to find a surgeon who’s successfully performed the procedure you need hundreds, or thousands of times. Don’t be afraid to ask a prospective surgeon to share their record of success.
- Ask about the surgery process. Is the orthopedic clinic you’re considering up-to-date on the latest advances in surgical procedures? Minimally invasive outpatient surgery is the most advanced approach to orthopedic surgeries like joint replacements. Minimally invasive procedures boast several advantages over traditional surgeries, including less soft tissue damage, reduced risk of infection, and a faster recovery time.
- Ask plenty of questions. Patient-provider communications should be an important factor in your decision-making process. The right surgeon will take the time to thoroughly answer all your questions in terms you understand, and not make you feel rushed or dumb. Good communication is a sign of respect, and you should strive to find a surgeon who respects you and your healthcare concerns.
- Request cost information. Cost considerations are an important part of the decision-making process. Find out if the practice you’re considering accepts your insurance and if affordable financing plans are available.
OJRCA Is a Leading Orthopedic Clinic in Tampa, FL
At Outpatient Joint Replacement Center of America, our vision is to provide the best patient-centered environment for same-day hip and knee replacement surgeries in Tampa, FL. Our practice is led by Philip Clifford, M.D., AAHKS, AAOS (“Dr. Flip” to his patients), a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience.
Here at OJRCA, we strive to make a personal connection with all our patients. We treat every patient like family — which means you can expect kind, compassionate, and warm treatment from every interaction with our team.
If you’re looking for a top orthopedic surgeon in the Tampa, FL area, we encourage you to give us a call and schedule a consultation.