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Author Topic: Finding the best (or at least a very good) surgeon  (Read 957 times)

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Offline runner7

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Finding the best (or at least a very good) surgeon
« on: November 01, 2011, 12:40:15 AM »
(Not sure if this is quite the right place to post this, so sorry if it's in the wrong spot.)

I hate to question the authority of people who are very smart and have attended years of medical school, but something has kind of been bothering me with the few doctors I have seen -- they all give completely different diagnoses of what I have.  As this isn't quantum mechanics, it seems that with the same sort of medical knowledge, they should all arrive at the same (or even similar) conclusion for what it is that I have.  I suppose it's the same in any profession -- you will have good ones and less than good ones.

The problem is, as I don't know anything about orthopedic medicine, the only distinguishing characteristics I can ascertain about each doctor I visit are a) if they are nice and charismatic or b) if I eventually get better by following their recommendations.  As for how good they are, this is difficult to tell.

So I'm looking for a good guide, perhaps a list of surgeons voted on as the best by their peers, because I really want to find someone who knows what he is doing and is very good at it.  For all I know, I may currently be seeing the best there is, but there is no way for me to tell, and as my condition isn't improving, it sure wouldn't hurt to try others.

Does anyone know a good, objective way of accomplishing this goal?


Offline Jack32

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Re: Finding the best (or at least a very good) surgeon
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2011, 04:19:25 PM »

I asked exactly the same question just before I had my consultation and subsequent surgery to replace my ACL and repair my medial meniscus. I must admit, I found it very hard to find anything that rated OS's by way of how good they were / how successful their procedures were.

Whilst I was frantically 'Googling' various search terms to try and get hold of this information, I stumbled across this website. I was given some very good guidance around which OS had a good reputation by others who had gone through the same procedure. This website has a whole host of information within the information hub - one section lists OS's by country and location.

From my experience, I came to a conclusion by using this website, talking to my General Practitioner and Physiotherapists on who they would recommend.

Hope this helps,

Jack 32
« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 04:21:00 PM by Jack32 »
Jack 32

Oct 11 - L ACL Reconstruction & Medial Meniscus repair

Offline allyd

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Re: Finding the best (or at least a very good) surgeon
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2011, 05:59:10 PM »
I dont think there is a good objective way to assess an OS's skill/level of expertise. To start with, keep in mind while an OS specializes in knees, it doesnt mean they are experts in all facets of the knee. i.e. just because they are great at ACL's doesnt mean they are great with patella issues, TKR's, etc. -- keep this in mind as you search and try to find someone recommended for the issue you are dealing with.

Second, Ask, ask, ask. Ask family or friends. Ask your GP. Give your location/problem and ask here. Ask the surgeon when you are sitting across the room from him. Ask your PT. Ask the nurses, office staff, etc that work with the OS. Of course rarely will an OS's colleagues/staff speak badly... but I think there is a difference between a flat response and a glowing review. When you do decide on an OS, dont be afraid to ask questions regarding his/her success rate with whatever procedure you are considering, How many he/she performs in a year. Ask questions if something doesnt add up. Eventually you have to take all the recomendations and info and simply place some trust in your chosen OS.
04/09 RK - Dislocated Patella & Grade III MCL Tear
06/10 RK - Re-Dislocation Patella
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Offline LKnees

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Re: Finding the best (or at least a very good) surgeon
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2011, 01:15:33 AM »
Well, you want someone that thinks outside the box, and takes proper imaging and measurements- not someone that treats you like a textbook, one surgery fits all case.
I asked around a lot before my first surgeries with my old 'I don't even want to call him a doctor'. I got glowing reviews from patients and nurses. Unfortunately, the man flat out lied about his experience and how many of these surgeries he had done. And somehow this is legal, because I like most people don't walk around with recording devices.
It doesn't take as much intelligence to operate as it does to figure out the right surgery to do on a particular person.

Offline crankerchick

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Re: Finding the best (or at least a very good) surgeon
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2011, 10:07:44 PM »
My advice is:
-Talk to patients. I don't know how common it is, but my knee doctor encouraged and helped me speak to other patients with my same problem,  who had the same type of surgery he was recommending for me. If possible, I would try this.
-If you haven't already, do your homework--not on your doctor but on your problems.  If you have a good idea of what your doctor should be looking for and what types of tests they should be doing to diagnose, that goes a long way to figuring out if the guy has a clue.

Most importantly, avoid surgery until you are sure about the diagnosis,  procedure, and surgeon.
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