What to Look for in an Orthopedic Surgeon

Choosing an orthopedic surgeon is an important and sometimes difficult decision. Your particular medical issue, no matter how common, is unique to you. You’ll want to choose an orthopedic surgeon in Denver who is experienced, competent, and caring. Here are some great ideas on what to look for among orthopedic surgeons and some good places to start.

Focusing on the work

Location

It may seem to go without saying, but the location of your orthopedic surgeon’s office is important. Of course, you’ll want to choose someone convenient to your home or place of work, but you also need to consider the location of the orthopedist’s affiliated hospital.

A surgeon must have privileges at a hospital before he or she can perform surgery there or admit patients. Make sure any orthopedic surgeon you’re considering is able to practice at the hospital or health system of your choice.

Experience

Everyone has to start somewhere, but you’ll want to pick an orthopedic surgeon who has years of experience, especially in dealing with your particular problem. Fortunately, an orthopedic surgery residency lasts several years, so any provider you choose will likely be experienced and comfortable with many disorders and procedures. If you have any doubts, simply ask your doctor about his or her background and training.

Expertise

Although all orthopedic surgeons are well-versed regarding the bones, muscles, and connective tissues of the body, some specialize in certain areas. Look for one who has expertise in your problem. For example, if you are dealing with carpal tunnel syndrome, you might seek out a hand specialist. A foot and ankle orthopedist could better help you with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Partners

While it is by no means crucial, you might want to consider an orthopedic surgeon who has other partners in their practice. There are several reasons for this. First of all, partners cover for each other, so if your regular orthopedist is out of town or otherwise unavailable, one of their partners can care for you and will have access to your medical information. Secondly, different areas of specialization often exist among the partners of a practice. This is extremely convenient if your orthopedist needs another opinion or wants you to be seen by a different orthopedic specialist. Instead of driving across town, you may only need to walk down the hall.

Tips for Finding an Orthopedic Surgeon

Now that you know what to look for, how should you go about finding the right orthopedic surgeon for you? Start by asking around. Your friends and family might have some great recommendations. Also, search on your health system’s website. It should have a listing of medical providers by specialty.

Once you have some good leads, do a bit more research. Check with your state medical board to be certain the orthopedist you have chosen has no sanctions on their record. View their practice’s website to see their area(s) of expertise and what conditions they treat. Finally, schedule an office appointment and don’t be afraid to ask questions about their education, background, and experience.

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