3 Things To Consider When Choosing A Surgeon For Your Knee Replacement Surgery
The decision to undergo total knee replacement (TKR) surgery is a major step toward reclaiming an active lifestyle. Surgery is a big decision, so it’s important that you feel very confident in your choice. You want to find a surgeon with a history of successful TKR operations as well as one who makes you feel comfortable while openly discussing your concerns and questions. So, how do you find the right one?
Ask for Referrals
It’s a good idea to ask friends and family for surgeon recommendations. Personal experience goes a long way; just remember to take people’s comments with a grain of salt, since everyone’s experience is unique. You can also ask your primary care physician for referrals. Your doctor has most likely treated patients who have had knee replacement surgery. They should know a decent amount about specific surgeons, since they’re the ones who follow up post-op and see patient outcomes firsthand.
Physical therapists are another great resource. Chances are you already have a relationship established with your PT, so ask them who they would recommend. Remember, PTs do the rehabilitation after TKR surgery, so they know which surgeons’ patients have the best outcomes, the fastest recoveries, the most complications, the most complaints, etc.
Check with Your Insurance
Another factor to consider is your insurance coverage. They may have specific in-network surgeons that you need to choose from, unless you want to increase your out-of-pocket expenses. It’s also important to find out how much physical therapy is covered both before and after surgery. Many insurances cover ‘prehab’ services, which is pre-surgery therapy that has been clinically proven to help with recovery after a total knee replacement. If prehab is available, you definitely want to take full advantage of it.
Some insurance providers offer the surgeon a financial incentive to limit post-surgical physical therapy services, which may not be in your best interest. So, definitely ask about PT coverage with both your insurance and with the surgeon when you meet with them.
There are various online databases that can provide you with a list of board-certified knee replacement surgeons. You can cross-check those lists with your list of insurance-approved surgeons. Check out the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons to start.
Find Out How Many Total Knee Replacements They Perform per Year
Studies show that the surgeons with the best track records are those that perform a high volume of total knee replacement procedures. It makes sense then to choose a surgeon that does hundreds of TKRs per year over a surgeon that does 12. Orthopedic surgeons can perform a wide variety of procedures, and it’s important to choose one whose specialty aligns best with your needs. Given the increasing volume of total knee replacement surgeries worldwide, there are now numerous clinics and surgery centers that specialize solely in joint replacement procedures. These types of facilities often offer cost savings due to the streamlined and well-organized processes established as a result of their specialty.
Take your time, do your research, talk to people, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. I recommend consulting multiple surgeons before making your final decision. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with your choice, feeling heard and having all of your questions and concerns addressed. Remember, your future health depends on this decision, so don’t make it lightly.
Whether you’re planning on knee replacement surgery, or already have had a knee replacement, GoKnee is the best device + home exercise program on the market for your recovery. We’re clinically proven to cut recovery time in half, and back it with a 30-day guarantee. Try GoKnee today for $100 off, use code GO100 at checkout.