How to find the right surgeon for your hip replacement

Every year – surgeons perform more than 450,000 total hip replacements in the US – a surgery that is considered to be one of the most successful operations in the medical field. However, with all surgeries – there’s a spectrum of outcomes, and one of the best ways of ensuring that your surgery is successful is by finding the right surgeon. By actively participating in the process, you are taking the first step to ensure the best possible outcome.

Surgeon doctor with arms crossed

Where do you start?

Talk to any friends who have had a similar procedure and your primary care provider for some surgeon recommendations. You might also want to consider talking to your physical therapist if you have one – as PTs are the ones who see patients AFTER surgery so will be able to advise you regarding the outcomes they see. Remember, if you don’t feel confident in the abilities of your local surgeons, you may want to consider traveling further afield to find an expert.

Once you have your shortlist – get Googling!

Firstly, you want to make sure that s/he is orthopedic board certified (you can check here) – this shows that not only have they achieved an appropriate level of training, but that they also take steps to keep up to date with the latest practices and treatments.

Next, check their training – you want to find someone with significant training and experience with your type of surgery – you might find an extremely competent orthopedic surgeon, but his/ her experience in foot or shoulder surgery is not a good indication of the likely success of their hip replacement. After having completed medical school and then an orthopedic residency program, many surgeons go on to gain additional experience in one or more Fellowships. This is where they really hone their skills, so again, check that this training aligns with your procedure.

Once you have identified the surgeons that have the right skills and have compiled a shortlist – it’s time to meet! To get the most out of your appointment – have your list of questions ready. You’ll find some suggested questions here.