Questions to ask your orthopedic physician [or podiatrist]:

  • What are my treatment options? What are the pros and cons of each option?
  • How long will the treatment take? How will it affect my daily activities?
  • What will my recovery involve? How long will recovery take?
  • Are there any brochures I can read or web sites I can visit for more information?

If your orthopedist [or podiatrist] recommends surgery:

  • What is involved in the surgery? * How long will I be in the hospital?
  • (If not your orthopedist) Who will perform the surgery?
  • Can I meet him/her? * What can I expect after the surgery?
  • Will I need further treatment (such as physical therapy, splints, medications)?
  • What will happen if I don’t have the surgery now?
  • What are my alternatives? * If I want a second opinion, whom can I consult?
  • How many similar procedures has the surgeon performed? What are the outcomes?
*Adapted from UCSD Medical Center: Orthopedics: What To Ask Your Orthopedist

Use the above list when you’re interviewing doctors. If you’re not getting answers you like, get a 2nd or 3rd or 4th opinion. Trust your fact and your intuition.

I wish I’d found this site before my surgery.  There are several questions I didn’t think to ask. It’s so important to bring a list of questions to each appointment and check them off as you get your answers.

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3 Thoughts on “Questions to Ask Your Orthopedist or Podiatrist BEFORE Surgery

  1. Thanks for the post. I think asking for brochures on the recommended treatments can be really helpful. It allows you to go home and read over the material to help you make the best decision for you. I hate being put on the spot and have to make a decision right then and there at the Dr. office. The more you know the better off you will be.

  2. Great list of things to ask your orthopedist or podiatrist. I like that you say to ask how long the recovery will take. I can understand why this would be helpful to know when you have other things going on. Knowing this could also help you not schedule things that could overlap with your treatment.

  3. I love that suggestion to trust your intuition when you’re searching for a podiatrist. Those questions also seem very helpful. Whenever I need a specialist, I like to see if I can get a recommendation first.

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