If you are regularly visiting orthopedic doctors in Suffolk County, NY, at some point, you probably will hear the “surgery option” discussed. It is not anyone’s goal, but it is for many people the only option that will bring relief from whatever they are going through. If a theoretical discussion about the possibility of surgery develops into something more serious, before you make any decisions, run down this checklist.
Get a Second Opinion
Ask your orthopedist for a referral. Unless you are facing a critical condition where time is critical, they will be happy to help you get a second opinion. If they balk at providing a referral, ask them why; they might have a good reason, but you need to know what it is to make the most informed decision possible. Do not hesitate to go outside of the orthopedics center to get a second opinion; to do that, ask your orthopedic doctor, insurance carrier or medical association for a referral.
Exhaust All Options
Your orthopedist is not anxious to have you get surgery. In most cases, unless your situation is acute, surgery is the last option chosen because it is so intrusive. If, however, surgery is recommended, make sure you understand:
- What the surgery will entail,
- Why it is the best option,
- What alternatives exist, and,
- Why those alternatives are not appropriate.
Consider the Cure
In most cases, surgery is not only the best option, it is the best option to alleviate pain and discomfort. With a few surgeries, however, the recovery period is long and the likelihood the result will be discomfort and pain free is slim.
It is important you weigh all surgery options and alternatives as well as the likely prognosis for after the surgery before making any decisions. Ask your orthopedic doctors to go over you all the likely outcomes and get their opinion on the best path forward from that perspective.
Understand Costs and Coverage
Insurance carriers can have odd rules that affect surgery options. For example, except in an emergency, they might want to see that you exhausted all non-surgical options before they agree to cover surgery. They also might want you to get a second opinion from an independent orthopedic doctor.
You also should get a handle on what your carrier will not cover as well as any treatment stipulations included in your health insurance policy. Work with your doctors to ensure you are in total insurance compliance.
If your orthopedic doctors in Suffolk County NY, recommend surgery, chances are they view it as you best option. Following up on their recommendations to make sure it is the right choice, however, requires a little legwork from you.