An open and honest dialogue with your doctor before surgery contributes to better outcomes. This means providing your physician with a comprehensive medical, surgical, and social history. This also ensures the doctor gives you the best care in creating a plan that fits your specific needs. Before any surgery, it is essential to voice any questions or concerns you might have.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) created a list of questions which may help in discussions with your doctor:
- What are your experiences with specific hip implant devices and how often do you use one over the other?
- What are the risks and benefits of different devices (metal-on-metal, metal-on-polyethylene, ceramic-on-polyethylene, and ceramic-on-ceramic devices)?
- If applicable, what is the surgeon’s personal experience and outcomes with the respective devices?
- If your surgeon recommends a certain device, ask why that hip implant is the best for your situation.
- What are the major and/or most frequent complications of surgery?
- Is the skill and experience of the orthopaedic surgeon more important than the device or procedure?
- Can you give me any information on outcomes and complication rates?
- If I do not have surgery, what is the risk?
- How much pain can I expect, and how will it be managed in the hospital and after I go home?
- How long will the device last, and what can I do to make it last as long as possible?
- What are the pros and cons of minimally invasive (mini-incision) surgery? Does it really make a meaningful difference in the result, or does it pose unnecessary risks?
- What will I be able to do/not do after my total joint replacement?
- Is therapy necessary after surgery?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- Will I be able to contact you after the surgery if I have a question or problem?