When to choose arthroscopic
If you’ve tried medication, physical therapy and other conservative methods of treatment, and you’re still experiencing knee pain, your doctor may recommend knee arthroscopy.
When choosing an orthopaedic surgeon, keep the following things in mind:
- Orthopaedic surgeons are medical doctors or osteopaths with an MD or DO degree who have completed a residency in orthopaedics.
- They must be certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons
- Many orthopaedic surgeons choose to specialize even further by taking a fellowship, which usually lasts six to 12 months.
In addition to the clinical credentials, a good surgeon will have good human credentials. That means showing concern for your pain, taking time to hear your concerns, and answering your questions fully.
How to prepare for your visit with a specialist
Once you have made an appointment with a specialist, there are a few things you can do to prepare for your visit. These include reviewing your medical insurance to find out more about your coverage for knee arthroscopy surgery. And putting together a short history of your health for your doctor.
Before agreeing to knee arthroscopy, you need to make sure your health insurance plan offers coverage for the procedure. Contact your insurer to find out exactly what your plan covers.
Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, offer coverage for it as long as a doctor orders the operation. Typically, your insurance will also cover visits to your orthopaedic surgeon prior to the arthroscopy and any diagnostic tests necessary to evaluate your condition. It will cover the surgery itself (including anesthesia), any preparations to your living space for post-surgical recovery (for example, installation of safety bars in the shower or bath) and visits to a physical therapist throughout your rehabilitation.
Creating a history of your health
Use this handy checklist to create a medical history you can bring along to doctor visits. List the following on a sheet of paper:
- All the medicines and supplements you take, including their dosage and frequency.
- Major illnesses or chronic conditions you have suffered from.
- Surgeries you have had and any related complications such as reactions to anesthesia.
- Allergies and sensitivities you have to food or medications.
- Your family history of diabetes, cancer or heart disease.
- Your lifestyle habits including smoking, alcohol intake, exercise and special diet.
Learn more about physicians that treat knee pain
As you treat your knee pain, you will likely come into contact with a variety of different medical professionals, including Primary Care Providers, Orthopaedic Surgeons, Sports Medicine Specialists and Rheumatologists. Discover what kind of services each of them offers.
Primary Care Providers (PCP)/Internists
The medical professionals you see for common medical issues such as your yearly annual check-up or a non-emergency illness are referred to as Primary Care Providers (PCP) or Internists. Depending upon the type and severity of your kneepain, the PCP/Internist may refer you to a specialist such as an Orthopaedic Surgeon, a Rheumatologist or a Sports Medicine Specialist for further treatment.
Medical doctors with extensive training treating injuries and conditions of the musculoskeletal system—the bones, joints and muscles in the body—are called Orthopaedic Surgeons. These specialists may recommend treatment of knee pain with medication,physical therapy, steroid injections or knee replacementsurgery.
Sports Medicine Specialists
Physicians who specialize in the prevention, evaluation and treatment of injuries related to sports and exercise are called Sports Medicine Specialists. Though perceived to just treat athletes, Sports Medicine Specialists are able to treat other patients as well. They may recommend treatment of knee pain with medication, physical therapy, or steroid injections. If it is believed surgery is needed to correct your condition, you may be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon for further evaluation.
Medical doctors who diagnose and treat both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as other disorders of the bones, joints, ligaments and muscles are known as Rheumatologists. Rheumatologists may recommend treatment of knee pain with medication, physical therapy or steroid injections. If it is believed surgery is needed to correct a problem, you may be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon for further evaluation.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
The performance of knee arthroscopy depends on age, weight, activity level and other factors. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. People with conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have this surgery. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can tell if knee arthroscopy is right for you.