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Having orthopedic surgery? Here are three questions to ask your surgeon

Surprises are great if it’s your birthday, but surprises aren’t as desirable following orthopedic surgery. The goal of undergoing an orthopedic procedure is to reduce pain and regain function, but there are many steps to consider to reach that goal. Instead of guessing what is going to occur, it’s better to ask your physician questions so you will know what is going to happen and why.

Here are three questions suggested by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to ask to get the conversation started.

What happens during the procedure?
Ask your doctor exactly what he plans to do, from the size of the incision to type of anesthesia. Make sure you are clear about any details like whether there will be stitches or staples to close the incision. Explore any risk factors that might be associated with the procedure and ask what will happen if they occur. Finally, check on the success rate of the surgery and the experience level of your surgical team. Feeling well-informed will help relieve anxiety.

What kind of device is being used?
In many orthopedic surgeries, a joint replacement device replaces a worn out joint. These devices continually undergo improvements so the one your uncle got five years ago may be completely different than the ones used today. Ask how it works, how long it can be expected to last and what precautions will need to be taken. It’s better to find out before surgery that there will be certain limitations so you are not surprised following surgery.

What happens after the surgery?
Although doctors can’t predict the future, they can estimate recovery time based on their experiences. It’s okay to ask about the amount of pain and how it will be managed. Find out how long the hospital stay will be. Then ask about recovery time after a hospital stay and whether you will need assistance with daily activities. Check on the amount of therapy needed and where therapy can be given. Ask about limitations during the recovery period, including whether you’ll need any assistive devices like crutches or a walker and the amount of time before you can drive, return to work or begin sports activities. Discuss possible post-surgical complications and be clear about which symptoms require immediate attention and which are normal parts of the recovery process. Find out about follow-up doctor visits. It’s always easier to make arrangements before surgery instead of scrambling to find help at the last minute.

A wise choice
The days after being discharged from the hospital following orthopedic surgery can be challenging. Arranging help with household tasks, transportation to therapy and dealing with incision care and pain can be stressful for both you and your family. Instead of choosing to return home after a hospital stay, consider recovering at Whitehall of Deerfield’s exclusive Orthopedic Pavilions where the focus is always returning to an active lifestyle as quickly and fully as possible.

Therapy sessions are conducted one-on-one and are designed to meet your specific needs. A state-of-the-art orthopedic gym specially designed for those recovering from joint replacement surgery means you’ll have access to the latest innovative equipment.

With Whitehall of Deerfield’s full-time, in-house team of compassionate experts (including top therapists and a nurse practitioner), you’ll receive the cutting-edge care and equipment you need to recover faster and to reduce the chance of being re-hospitalized.

The attentive staff also expertly assists with pain management and makes sure all medications are taken on schedule to reduce complications.

At Whitehall of Deerfield’s Orthopedic Pavilions, guests enjoy rooms with luxurious amenities including high-speed wireless Internet, concierge service, daily delivery of gourmet coffee and newspaper, dozens of cable channels with a 24-hour channel of newly released movies, an iPad lending service, valet parking for visitors and much more. Guests can also enjoy a wide-ranging choice of cuisine from selective menus as well as a variety of dining settings and even a complimentary ice cream parlor and freshly baked goods.

To learn more or schedule a tour of this ideal option for recovery following orthopedic surgery, visit whitehallofdeerfield.com or call 847-945-4600.


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