Hip and Knee Replacement: Questions To Ask Your Doctor

Arthritis of the Hip and Knee: The Active Person’s Guide to Taking Charge, a book co-authored by Dr. S. David Stulberg, Director of The Joint Reconstruction and Implantation Service at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, offers hip and knee replacement patients a list of important questions to ask their surgeons. To take charge of your healthcare, consider the following queries:

  • What is your background? Patients should seek detailed information about the surgeon’s experience in joint replacements. Explore the results of the surgeon’s operations, any frequent complications or complaints from patients and what the physician does to prevent these issues.
  • What is the hospital’s background? Detailed information about the hospital where the joint replacement surgery is performed is also important. Patients should find out the number of similar surgeries performed and whether the organization specializes in orthopaedics.
  • Where can I seek other opinions? Patients should ask their physicians to recommend surgeons for second opinions and for the names of former patients who would be willing to describe their experience undergoing the same surgery.
  • What do you recommend as the best treatment, and what are the consequences of postponing surgery? It is also important to know what activities are allowed after surgery and how long the joint replacement will last.
  • Is this procedure covered by my insurance? Check whether your insurance will cover the procedure itself and the accompanying hospital care.
  • What happens after surgery? Patients should obtain details about physical therapy in the hospital and after being discharged.