5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Joint Replacement Surgeon

Preparing to undergo a joint replacement surgery is a big decision. There are a few questions to consider when choosing a surgeon. The following are some factors to consider when deciding what surgeon can lead you back to the path of an active lifestyle.

1. Surgeon Experience

Surgeon experience is very important to improve your odds of a successful outcome. When your surgeon specializes in joint replacement surgery it can benefit you as a patient through his knowledge of how to have the best results. A 2012 study from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases found that surgeons who performed more that 50 knee replacements per year had the lowest complication rates for their patients. The more knowledge and skill that a surgeon can develop with joint replacement-the better the outcome for you.

2. Credentials

There are many orthopedic surgeons to choose from but there are a few credentials to look for to choose the right one for you. Being Board Certified means your surgeon has mastered the particular skills and achieved standards above the average for his or her speciality. Likewise, a fellowship trained surgeon has undergone additional training to specialize in a specific aspect of their field. Being fellowship-trained in joint replacement surgery is ideal to building expertise in the area of practice. You may also want to do some research into the surgeons education background, or any additional achievements in the field. In addition, you should check to see if the surgeon has any malpractice or disciplinary actions that can be red-flags.

3. Communication and Understanding

It is helpful to the success of your surgery if you feel comfortable in communicating with your surgeon. Do they explain things in ways that you can understand? Are you comfortable asking them questions? Do you feel rushed when meeting with them? These are all factors to consider when developing a good rapport. You should feel that your surgeon respects and understands your concerns as the patient and that they listen and communicate effectively.

4. Insurance

Having insurance coverage with your joint replacement surgeon and the hospital affiliated is very important. Firstly, be sure to go over all that your insurance will cover so that you are aware of what is covered and what you might have to pay for in the process. Secondly, research payment plans and other financial assistance that might help ease medical costs. Don’t assume what will be paid for by insurance before having your surgery, make sure to discuss this with the billing specialists and staff.

5. Hospital Affiliation

Because joint replacement surgeries are done as in-patient hospital procedures, it is important that you are comfortable with where your surgery takes place. Not only will the surgery be performed at the hospital but they take you through the recovery process. Look for hospitals who have a designated Orthopedic Center of Excellence- a hospital program designed to ensure you have the highest standard of orthopedic care. This includes preoperative care, state of the art surgical rooms, advanced equipment, and a highly skilled multi-disciplinary approach to full recovery. The more streamlined the treatment process is will typically provide better results.


Choosing the Heekin Clinic:

Dr. Heekin and Dr. Kim are both highly experienced and inordinately trained in joint replacement surgery. Therefore, although although the Heekin Clinic can see you for a wide variety of orthopedic needs, we specialize in the knee and hip. Dr. Heekin himself founded the Orthopedic Center of Excellence, at Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside. With over 3 decades of experience in joint replacement, he helped set the standard of care for patients at Ascension St. Vincent’s.

Along with Physician Assistant Corinne Gratien, and the ancillary staff at the Heekin Clinic, Dr. Heekin and Dr. Kim commit to provide the best care possible and ensuring you see the best results possible from your joint replacement. Call us today for more information on Dr. Heekin or any of our other orthopedic providers at Heekin Clinic.

Dr. Eric Kim D.O.

Dr. Richard Heekin M.D.

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