Important questions to ask prior to an orthopedic surgery

Shelly Haberman
Orthopedic surgery

Prior to having surgery for any orthopedic injury or diagnosis, it is important to have good knowledge of what to expect going into surgery. This will assist you in your rehab process and your return home.

Below is a list of 10 suggested questions you should ask your surgeon, their physician’s assistance, their nurse practitioner or pre-surgical educator.

  1. Why do I need this surgery?
    1. Understand your diagnosis and why the surgery is necessary.
  2. How is this surgery performed: open surgery versus arthroscopic. How does this affect recovery?
  3. What can I do to help with my recovery at home?
    1. Medications?
    2. Activity limitations, a surgical protocol with restrictions in \movement or activity?
    3. Modifications needed around the home for safety and recovery?
  4. When can I expect to return to work/regular activity/driving?
    1. What is my recovery time realistically?
  5. Will I need physical therapy or occupational therapy after procedure?
    1. For approximately how long?
    2. What will they work on with me in therapy?
  6. Will I need assistance provided by another person at home?
  7. Will I need an assistive device or brace?
    1. How do I don and doff brace, with movement restrictions?
  8. Will I be able to do stairs, or what is the best option for me to get into my home after surgery?
    1. Set bedroom up on first floor if possible?
  9. How common is infection with this procedure, how do I prevent to maximize recovery at home?
    1. What are signs of infection?
  10. Are there things I can do physically prior to surgery?
    1. Therapy before surgery?
    2. Lose weight?
    3. Increase or decrease exercise?

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