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Going into the operating room takes a lot of trust, especially when it involves a joint replacement procedure. However, you can feel more confident about the entire process, and it all starts with choosing the right surgeon.

Thomas Calton, MD, specializes in orthopedic surgery at Elevate Surgical in Ogden, Utah. He’s been practicing for more than 20 years, and he offers the latest techniques, especially outpatient and anterior hip replacement procedures.

Before signing on for a joint replacement surgery, Dr. Calton recommends asking your potential surgeon these five essential questions.

1. What are your credentials?

This may seem obvious, but people often make assumptions about the skills of their service providers, including those in the medical field.

Whenever working with an orthopedic surgeon, it’s crucial to ask questions about their education, credentials, and personal experience. For example, you can ask about their education, degrees, training or certifications, and how many procedures they perform annually.

Generally speaking, surgeons who perform 12 or more total knee replacements each year often have higher success rates, and the best surgeons often perform hundreds.

2. What type of procedure is best for me?

It’s easy to assume that all knee or hip replacements are the same. However, a skilled orthopedic surgeon can use a variety of techniques to repair joint damage, especially depending on your age, physical condition, and their own level of expertise.

For example, an orthopedic surgeon could recommend a partial or total knee or hip replacement. Furthermore, certain approaches, especially for the hip, can be performed with less invasive techniques, which means they can come with less pain, fewer risks of complications, and faster recovery times.

When asking this question, it’s also helpful to inquire about how much experience the surgeon has with cases similar to yours.

3. Will you use special technology?

There’s more to a good orthopedic surgeon than experience in the operating room. It’s also important for surgeons to continue expanding their knowledge of new technologies, new devices, and the latest surgical techniques.

You can see these characteristics in Dr. Calton, who uses both nonsurgical and surgical techniques to diagnose and treat joint pain, musculoskeletal trauma, and degenerative diseases. His illustrious career has seen him in the operating room and behind the scenes as a primary designer for Ortho Development’s top-selling instrumentation and hardware for hip and knee replacement systems.

Dr. Calton is also highly skilled with manual and robotic-arm assisted surgical techniques.

4. What outcomes do you anticipate for me?

There are no guarantees with hip or knee replacement procedures, but complications associated with these surgeries tend to be fairly low. However, it’s essential to have clear expectations about the overall goals of your surgery before you head to the operating room.

Questions to ask along these lines might include:

  • Will all my pain go away?
  • Will I regain full or partial function of the joint?
  • Will I be able to resume my favorite activities safely?
  • Are there specific risks associated with this procedure?

It’s also important to talk to your surgeon before your surgery to see if there are ways to increase the success of your procedure. These things could include losing weight, quitting smoking, or doing exercises to strengthen specific muscles that support the joint.

5. Do you recommend that I have this procedure?

This may seem like a silly question. However, a reputable orthopedic surgeon should offer personalized recommendations on a case-by-case basis that consider numerous factors, such as:

  • The extent of joint damage
  • Whether other less invasive treatments can provide relief
  • Your general physical condition and age
  • Your overall goals and expectations
  • The potential for success
  • Their skill level

Dr. Calton also strongly suggests listening to your instincts when talking to a potential surgeon. You should work with a specialist you can trust so you clearly understand your options and feel confident about your possible outcomes.

Do you have questions about hip or knee replacement surgery? To learn about your options, call (801) 758-0206 or book an appointment online with Elevate Surgical today.

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