• Questions to ask your Doctor
  • Choose Quality Care

Questions to Ask Your Orthopedic Joint Surgeon

While you meet with your board certified orthopedic surgeon, it is important to ask great questions so you are able to set reasonable expectations about the outcome of your diagnosis, orthopedic treatment plan and potential surgery.

1. What is abnormal about my hips, knee, shoulder, elbow or ankle, back, foot, etc.?

2. What will the diagnostic tests conclusively be able to report on? What will the diagnostic test not screen for?

3. What are the benefits and risks associated with the procedure?

4. What will the surgery not be able to correct?

5. What can I (the patient) expect if I decide against surgery or delay surgery?

6. Are there factors out of your (the surgeon) control, such as, my own anatomy, that may potentially influence the results of the procedure?

7. If you (the patient) are receiving a medical device implant, ask why the orthopedic surgeon selected this type of device design and technology company, when compared to other choices. Ask how long the track record of success has been with the technology that your orthopedic surgeon is planning to use in your procedure. Ask if there will be others assisting during the procedure and about their level of expertise.

8. How many times have you (the surgeon) performed the procedure?

9. How do your (the surgeon) traditional skills integrate into using advanced technology that you are using in your practice now?

10. What is the surgeon’s success rate?

11. How long will the results last?

12.  What type of training did you (the surgeon) receive to use the technology and were your skills using the technology reviewed by peers?

13. Will you (the surgeon) be available to treat me for any complication should one arise or will I need to go to another medical center for treatment?

14. Will you (the surgeon) or your partners be able to care for me in the event I would need a secondary surgery or will you refer me to another medical center?

15. What kind of precautions do I (the patient) need to take to reduce the risk of complications?

16. What types of complications have your ( the surgeon) patients tended to experience?

17. What will my post-operative instructions be to reduce the risk of complications?

18. If you (the patient) are having a secondary or revision surgery, it is wise to ask how many revision surgeries the surgeon performs each year.

19. Will there be any daily living skills or sports activities that I (the patient) will not be able to perform  after surgery?


More on Your Appointment

At the end of your initial consultation, you can request an informed consent form so that you can take it home to review the information. If you have any questions as you read it, jot them down on the paper,  contact your orthopedic surgeon and return for a second consultation to review your questions. In this way, you’ll be able to obtain the answers you need to make a well-educated decision. Your orthopedic surgeon can keep the informed consent in your chart, make a copy for you and refer to it to give you reminders, if ever necessary. The results of orthopedic procedures are generally very beneficial, providing the ability to walk and to conduct normal daily activities for many. You may have comfort in knowing that many who have had joint reconstruction found the benefits have outweighed the risks. However, it is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.   Joint surgery offers an enhanced quality of life and long lasting results with the right technology in the hands of highly sophisticated orthopedic surgeons.

Find an Orthopedic Surgeon ->


Selecting an Orthopedic Joint Surgeon

Selecting a Back Pain Doctor

Selecting your Orthopedic Spine Surgeon

Spinal Injury and Conditions

Arthritis Treatment Revolutionized

Personal Injury Emergency Orthopedics

Orthopedic Follow Up