There are plenty of major decisions we plan to make in life but choosing an orthopedic surgeon for knee replacement surgery typically isn’t something on the top of our list. So how do you know how to pick the right surgeon?
Here are five tips for choosing the best orthopedic doctor for you from our joint specialists at Heekin Clinic.
Make sure your doctor is board certified to ensure you are in the care of someone who has the necessary training, experience and skills needed to provide exceptional orthopedic care. Check to see if the surgeon has any malpractice claims or disciplinary actions in their past or currently pending. You can see and search your physician’s certifications, medical school, training hospital and any malpractice or disciplinary actions on Florida state websites.
We can’t stress this enough… experience and reputation are key when searching for specialized medical or surgical care for complex orthopedic issues. Unsurprisingly, your surgical outcome is likely to be much better if you trust your orthopedic care to a doctor with a wealth of experience versus someone who is less experienced. Feel free to ask your surgeon or the clinic how many patients your doctor has performed the same procedure on and whether complications are common or not.
The hospital your surgeon is affiliated with is your hospital. This is where you will do pre and post-operative care and spend your time recovering, so you need to be comfortable with the hospital as well as with your doctor. Usually, the higher hospital quality, the lower complication rates. Take location and convenience into account as well, since your follow up and rehabilitation will take place through the same hospital. Heekin Clinic is affiliated with St. Vincent’s Medical Center Riverside.
When you speak with your doctor, can you understand what he or she is saying? Do they break down complex medical jargon to layman’s terms so that you have complete comprehension about what has been done and what lies ahead? Can you ask questions and get straightforward answers? Do you feel like your surgeon rushes you? Do you feel as if your surgeon respects you and all your decisions? These are all extremely important questions to ask and answer yourself honestly to make sure your orthopedic surgeon is indeed the right person for your knee replacement surgery.
While we’d love to handle all of greater Jacksonville’s knee replacement surgeries, knowing what doctors and hospitals your insurance covers needs to be a deciding factor in your orthopedic surgeon decision. We suggest picking a surgeon who participates in your insurance plan and is in-network with your insurance so that you pay the least amount out-of-pocket and have the best insurance benefits possible during your pre and post-surgical care.
Knowing that you will be cared for by one of Florida’s top orthopedic surgeons can help in your orthopedic surgeon decision. With over three decades of experience, R. David Heekin, M.D., F.A.C.S. sets the standard in orthopedic care and joint replacement surgery in Jacksonville.
Dr. Heekin is the Medical Director of the Orthopedic Center of Excellence at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Riverside. His Orthopedic Center of Excellence has consistently been awarded the Joint Commission’s prestigious quality certification since 2009. In 2013, it was named in nation’s top five for knee surgery by Consumer Reports.
When it comes to results, Dr. Heekin’s patients have been found to experience a lower complication rate than patients treated elsewhere for knee replacement surgery and hip replacement surgery. Read more about Dr. Heekin’s outcome ratings by propublica.org here.
Heekin Clinic’s orthopedic specialists also include Mark Mathias, PA-C, Corinne Gratien, PA-C, and Kim Avera, BN, BSN. The orthopedic team excluding Dr. Heekin has over 30 years combined experience.
Call us today for more information on Dr. Heekin or any of our other orthopedic providers at Heekin Clinic.