FAQ - Helpful Patient Resources

FAQ – Helpful Patient Resources

These are common questions I hear from people when they need to see an orthopedic surgeon. If you have any other questions, just call my office at: 918-514-3009.
– Dr. Ronald LaButti.

Orthopedic Dictionary
Click here for definitions of common orthopedic terminology.

Do I need a referral from my doctor to make an appointment with you?
Most insurance plans do not require a referral to see a specialist. If you are not sure please call my office at 918-514-3009 and my staff will be happy to help you. If your insurance does require a referral, we can contact your physician and get it for you.

What insurance plans do you accept?
My office accepts most insurance plans. For a complete listing, please click here or call my office at 918-514-3009

Do you see worker’s compensation injuries?
Yes, I treat common knee and hip injuries as well as shoulder problems related to work injuries. If you’d like to find out more about the work injuries I treat or our experience with Workers Compensation, call Brian, our Workers Comp. coordinator at: 918-514-3009.

Do you accept out of town patients?
Absolutely! I’ve had patients from Alaska to Puerto Rico come to Tulsa for their total joint replacement surgery. Please call my office at 918-514-3009 for insurance information and recommendations for hotel accommodations.

What should I bring with me to the office?
Bring your insurance card(s), any reports and/or x-rays from your previous surgeries or primary care doctor and a list of medications and questions you have for me.

What should I wear to the office when I come for x-rays?
X-rays will go directly through your clothes, but they can’t go through metal. Avoid clothing with zippers, and remove keys from your pockets. Sweatpants or something similar is usually best to wear or pants that can be easily pulled up above the knee.

Who will I see when I come to your office?
When you arrive at the office you will check in at the front desk. After visiting registration to verify your paperwork is complete, you’ll be assisted to an exam room. My clinic assistant will ask you some questions about your condition. After my clinic assistant has finished her evaluation you will see me shortly.

After I see you in the office, will you also perform my surgery?
If I see you in the office I will be performing surgery if you need it. Being a stickler for perfection I do 100% of the surgery myself from the initial incision to the closing. I sometimes have a physician assistant or an orthopedic resident assisting during the case, but I personally perform your surgery.

At what hospital will I have my surgery?
I have full staff privileges at Oklahoma Surgical Hospital and Saint Francis Hospital.

How are hip and knee problems diagnosed?
Several methods are used to diagnose hip and knee problems:

  • Medical History: You tell me about your symptoms and about any injury, condition or general health problem that might be causing pain. I also carefully review any medical records and/or previous tests you’ve had.
  • Physical Examination: I may bend, straighten, rotate or press on the hip or knee to feel for injury, to determine the limits of movement, and the strength and location of pain. I may ask you to stand, walk or squat to help assess the hip or knees function.
  • Diagnostic Tests: I may use one or more of these tests to get more detailed information regarding anatomy of the joint.
  • X-ray (radiography): An x-ray beam is passed through the hip/knee to produce a two-dimensional picture of the bones.
  • Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan: X-rays lasting a fraction of a second are passed through the hip/knee at different angles, and analyzed by a computer. This produces a series of clear cross-sectional images of the hip/knee tissues on a computer screen. CT scan images show soft tissues such as ligaments or muscles more clearly than conventional x-rays. The computer can combine individual images to give a three-dimensional view of the knee or hip.
  • Bone Scan (radio nuclide scanning): A very small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream and detected by a scanner. The test detects blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone and can show abnormalities in these processes in these processes that may aid in diagnosis.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): A powerful magnet aligns hydrogen ions in the bone and soft tissue producing signals of differing intensities depending on the water concentration in the specific tissue. This information is then processed and analyzed by a computer creating a series of cross-sectional images of a specific part of the hip/knee. An MRI is particularly useful for detecting soft tissues damage or disease. Like a CT scan, a computer can produce three-dimensional views of the hip/knee.
  • Arthroscopy: This procedure uses a small, lighted tube (arthroscope) that has been inserted into the joint through a small incision in the knee. Images of the inside of the joints are projected onto a television screen. While the arthroscope is inside the knee joint, removal of loose pieces of bone or cartilage or the repair of torn ligaments and menisci is also possible.
  • Biopsy: Tissue is removed for examination under a microscope. It is usually sent to the lab for further testing of bacteria.