Our patients often have a number of questions before undergoing an orthopaedic procedure. And because we like to make sure that each and every patient is fully informed about his or her options and the details of their procedure, we’ve listed some of the most common questions we hear below.
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Orthopaedic Surgery FAQ
Q: What is an orthopaedic surgeon?
A: An orthopaedic surgeon is a medical doctor who specializes in treatment of the musculoskeletal system. The typical education for an orthopaedic surgeon includes four years of undergraduate work at a university, four years of medical school, and five years of orthopaedic residency at an academic medical center.
Q: What types of conditions do orthopaedic surgeons treat?
A: Orthopaedic surgeons treat conditions that affect the bones, muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. These include but are not limited to:
- Broken bones
- Ligament injuries
- Tendon injuries
- Muscle injuries
- Certain types of arthritis
- Certain physical deformities
Q: How do I know if I’m a good candidate for orthopaedic surgery?
A: Most candidates for orthopaedic surgery are patients who have exhausted the more conservative, non-surgical treatment options. However, the best way to determine if orthopaedic surgery is right for you is to contact a skilled and experienced orthopaedic surgeon. Using a combination of patient history, physical exam, and imaging tests, an orthopaedic doctor should be able to help you understand whether or not you’re a good candidate.
Q: What are the alternatives to surgery?
A: Because orthopaedic surgeons are trained in both surgical and non-surgical treatment, they will be able to help you in a variety of ways. This may include medication, physical therapy, or a number of other possible treatments, depending on your particular condition.
Q: What is minimally invasive surgery?
A: Minimally invasive surgery is an increasingly common alternative to traditional open surgery. Rather than use a large incision to access the damaged part of the body, the surgeon uses a number of smaller incisions. A small camera, or arthroscope, is then used to see the area being operated on. Minimally invasive surgery offers a number of advantages over open surgery. Chief among these benefits are a reduction in pain, scarring, and tissue damage. Patients who undergo minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery also tend to experience faster recovery times.
If You Are Planning to Have Surgery with Dr. Ahluwalia
Q: What should I do to prepare for orthopaedic surgery?
A: The specific instructions as to how to prepare for orthopaedic surgery may vary depending on each patient’s individual procedure. However, it is common for patients to follow a number of general guidelines, including avoiding food after midnight the night before surgery, wearing loose clothing, and arranging for a friend or family member to drop and pick you up after the procedure.
Q: What are the risks of orthopaedic surgery?
A: As with any surgery, orthopaedic surgery carries a number of risks. Most patients will not experience significant problems, however, it is important that every patient be aware of the potential side effects. These may include:
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Damage to nerves
- Blood clot
- Limited range of motion
- Potential for reinjury
Q: What kind of anesthesia is used?
A: The type of anesthesia used during surgery is determined by the anesthesiologist based on safety and the needs of the patient. The three possible types are general, regional, and local anesthesia. General anesthesia puts the patient’s entire body into deep sleep. Because of this, it takes the longest to recover from. Regional anesthesia numbs only the region of the body that is set to be operated on, while local anesthesia numbs one area of the body using a direct injection.
Contact an Orthopaedic Surgeon Today
Still have questions about orthopaedic surgery? Our experts are standing by to help you get the answers you need. You can also reach out to us to set up an appointment with top Beverly Hills orthopaedic surgeon Sonu Ahluwalia, MD. Call today!
Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia
Double Board Certified, Harvard Trained