Questions to Ask Your Orthopedic Surgeon Before Surgery!

The goal of orthopaedic treatment is to relieve pain and restore function. In planning your treatment, Dr. LaButti will consider many things, including your age, activity level, and general health. If nonsurgical treatment methods, such as medication and physical therapy, do not relieve your symptoms, surgery will be recommended.

Dr. LaButti will provide you with information to help you prepare for surgery. Never hesitate to ask questions. The following list of questions can help you in your discussions with Dr. LaButti before your surgery.

Understanding the Implant:

  • Why did you choose the prosthesis you are planning to give me? How long have you been implanting this device in patients?
  • Who manufactures this device? Is this the brand of implant you typically use? Do you have a relationship with the maker of the prosthesis you are implanting?
  • What is the typical lifespan of the implant? Is there anything I should know about it? Has this device ever been recalled by the FDA?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of this device compared to others?
  • What are your short-term and long-term complication rates for things such as breakage, clicking, the device not working right, and unidentified pain?

Surgical Approach:

  • Where will the incision be and what will its size be?
  • What type of surgical approach will you take?
  • What type of surgical planning will you do?
  • Will you use a computer-assisted method?
  • How long will the surgery take?

Risks & Complications:

  • What is your infection rate? (For reference—0.5 percent or less is considered good.)
  • What risks do I face and how likely is it that I’ll face complications?
  • What type of anesthesia will you use? What are the risks of anesthesia?

Recovery:

  • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • How long will the recovery process last? What will it entail?
  • How much pain will I have following surgery? What will the pain be like when I get home and start rehab?
  • When will the pain go away? What can I do to manage the pain?
  • What mobility or movement restrictions or limitations will I have and how long will they last?
  • When can I re-start the activities I want to do (i.e. golf, walking)? What activities should I avoid?
  • How do you expect my new knee/hip will function in six months? A year? Will there be follow-up appointments needed? When will the first follow-up appointment be?

Click to download the “Questions to Ask your Orthopedic Surgeon Before Surgery!” list.