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We completely understand many patients’ fears and concerns before they visit a New Orleans orthopedic clinic. Some are afraid they will be told that they need surgery, or they might think that an orthopedic surgeon will tell them that they can’t return to their sport or exercise.

If you do need to see an orthopedic surgeon, you should make the most of the limited amount of time you and the surgeon will have to discuss your pain or injury. Here are six tips that can improve your upcoming visit.

1. Find an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in your issue. In recent years, the field of orthopedic surgery has become extremely subspecialized. Try to find an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in the type of problem you are experiencing.

2. Bring a copy of the visit notes if you have already seen a doctor or another orthopedic surgeon. You might have seen another provider for this problem, such as an emergency room physician, doctor at an urgent care facility, your primary care provider, or another orthopedic surgeon. If you have, it can be a good idea to get a copy of the medical records to bring when you visit a New Orleans orthopedic clinic to give the orthopedic surgeon the best chance to understand all of the studies and treatments you have had up to this point.

3. Bring a copy of any x-rays or MRIs performed if you have already seen a doctor or another orthopedic surgeon. Along with a patient’s history and physical exam, x-rays are fundamental parts of a musculoskeletal exam. If you have had x-rays taken for this problem at your primary care doctor’s office, a hospital emergency room or urgent care facility, or another orthopedic surgeon, get a copy of the x-rays.

4. Fill out any medical questionnaires and other forms before your visit to the New Orleans orthopedic clinic. Completing these forms can often take a good deal of time. Filling them out ahead of time can move you out of the waiting room and into an exam room much quicker. Plus it gives you the opportunity to look up information you might not remember immediately, such as specific medication doses.

 5. Write down a brief timeline of your injury and treatments. It is not uncommon for a patient to have neck or shoulder pain or some other musculoskeletal injury for months prior to deciding she needs to see a New Orleans orthopedic surgeon. It can be difficult to remember specific details of your problem. Rather than scrambling to remember the details in the exam room, spend a few minutes before the visit writing down that information.

6. Write down your list of questions before you see an orthopedic surgeon.

If you have been fighting knee or back pain or some other musculoskeletal complaint about a long period of time, you will undoubtedly have questions about the diagnosis and its treatments. It’s also important to ask questions about your ability to work, go to school, drive, return to sports or exercise and more. To make sure that all of your questions are answered, write them down ahead of time to ensure you don’t forget them.

While each of these tips might not apply in every circumstance, they can help you get as much information as possible and answer any questions that might arise. If you have any additional questions regarding your visit to our New Orleans orthopedic clinic, please call us to schedule a consultation.

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