When you need any type of surgery, you want to know you are in good hands. Surgery is scary enough without worrying about the quality of care you will receive. The medical system in America today does not give you complete freedom of choice, but you usually do have some options. Even if your health care plan limits you to a specific hospital, you can still talk to your doctor about which orthopedic surgeon you would prefer to have operate on you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your doctor and any potential surgeon. If you are referred to a surgeon and do not feel comfortable with that person, talk to your regular doctor about your options.
Do some basic background checks
It has become normal for human resource departments to search online for information about potential hires. Why shouldn’t you do the same? Check search engines, Facebook and LinkedIn for a start. You might find excellent reviews or dire warnings. Don’t give too much weight to a long review, but watch for the big picture to emerge.
Check the qualifications
Your orthopedic surgeon should be registered and in good standing with a relevant and respected professional body. Start with the American Medical Association and your state’s medical society. Also check with the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the American Orthopedic Association. Hand surgery is a sub specialty of orthopedic surgery, and you can consult with the American Association for Hand Surgery to confirm that your hand surgeon is a member in good standing. Not all doctors will be members of every professional body for their specialty, but the best orthopedic surgeons are members of at least one. The advantage to this for patients is that these bodies usually require that members undertake continuing medical education to remain in good standing.
Meet the surgeon in person
Get prepared by doing some reading about your condition and the proposed surgery before you meet the surgeon, and ask about any concerns you have. This is your chance to raise any issues about your medical history, possible risk factors and recovery, so don’t hold back. Be sure to ask how often the surgeon does this procedure and about the most recent training or reading he or she has done on the condition or procedure. Does the surgeon listen to you? Is he or she concerned about whether or not you really understand the answers to your questions? Do you feel you have some rapport with the surgeons? You don’t need to like your surgeon, but you do need to be confident and trust this person.
Talk to other patients
If the hospital has any kind of support groups for patients with your condition, join them! It is a great way to meet other patients who may have used the same surgeon.
After surgery precautions
Once operated for rotator cuff repair, follow the prescribed guidelines by your surgeon strictly. No compromise should be made on any of the prescription and precaution commanded by your surgeon.