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How to prepare for your orthopedic surgery consultation

Doctor checking patient's hand pain Patients who are active in decisions about their health care are more likely to have better outcomes, according to research. There are many things you need to do to prepare for your consultation for orthopedic surgery.

Here is a quick guide to getting the most out of your consultation and surgical preparation.

  • Whether during your consultation with your surgeon or during preoperative appointments with your medical team, do not be afraid to ask all the questions. Consider bringing a family member or friend to be your healthcare advocate and help you remember details or recall questions you have. 
  • When meeting with the orthopedic surgeon, be sure to describe in detail when your problem began, how often it bothers you and what you’ve tried for treatment already. 
  • You will want to share your full medical history, past and present and how your problems have been treated. It may be helpful to have this written or typed out before your appointment to make it easier to recall everything.
  • In addition to documenting your medical history, bring copies of medical records, and imaging and lab results as they may relate to your orthopedic condition and could be helpful to your surgeon for consultation and planning out your treatment plan.
  • Be fully transparent about family history. Include all diseases and health conditions that affect your family, including any problems that have happened during surgery or with anesthesia.
  • Bring a full list of current medications, dosages and when you take them. Also include over-the-counter medications and supplements as they can affect surgery or recovery. 
  • If you have any allergies or food sensitivities, be sure to share those as well. Environmental, medication and food allergies are important and need to be documented. If you have sensitivities to medication or food, share those as well. Be sure to describe what you’ve experienced with the different allergies or sensitivities. 
  • Your surgeon will explain to you what to expect during surgery and after and the help you will need at home, depending on the type of surgery you have. Be sure to take notes and ask questions if anything is unclear or complicated. It’s important to understand everything about how surgery will be done, surgical risks and the recovery plan to ensure the best possible outcome.

To schedule your consultation for orthopedic surgery, please call (219) 795-3360.

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