Finding the right hip replacement surgeon at a dinner party

Finding the right hip replacement surgeon at a dinner party 1024 535 Best Practice Health TV

I saw a lady I’ve known for years at a party last week. Her husband was my optometrist before he passed away. Great guy. I did not know her as well. However, my ears perked up over dinner when she told me she needed to have a total hip replacement due to severe osteoarthritis that had failed conservative care.

I congratulated her on not letting arthritis prevent her from having a second chance at life and asked if she had a surgeon. She did.

“How did you pick him?” I asked.

“I saw several…” she said.

I smiled and exhaled with relief. “Oh, good. It is important to shop around, because 93% of orthopedic surgeons are not the most qualified.”

She shrugged. “Well, I found one I like.”

“Great. What did you like about him?” I asked.

“When I told him how much pain I’ve been in my hip, I could tell he really felt what I’ve been going through,” she said.

Gulp. The smile left my face. Therein lies the problem, I thought.

The decision to have surgery is important. And important decisions are emotional. So, the decision to have surgery is an emotional one. There is nothing wrong with that. But picking a total hip replacement surgeon is not emotional. Picking a surgeon is like doing a job interview. You are looking for the person most likely to solve the problem. Science has shown us that means your surgeon needs five features:

No one would blame you if you are too embarrassed to ask all these questions of an orthopedic surgeon. But I’m not. If you need help finding a qualified one, call us. My team will take your history, walk you through a checklist to make sure it is time for surgery. If everything checks out, we will find you a five-star surgeon who meets all these criteria, who is nearby and takes your insurance.

Ok, to be honest, nearly everyone at this party, including this lady and me, were Jewish. Which is why I was TOTALLY surprised at what happened next. It was a Christmas miracle.

“So, who is the very caring and nice young orthopedic surgeon?’ I asked. And lo and behold I recognized the name immediately. He is a great young joint replacement surgeon who met every one of my criteria. I smiled from ear to ear.

“Yes, he is very nice,” I said. “I cannot wait to see how it turns out.

But I already know. She is going to do great. She has a great surgeon.

Dr. Dan Lieberman, MD