The Importance of a Second Opinion
A hip or knee replacement is a major decision, and a second opinion helps you figure out all your treatment options. Why is a second opinion especially important when you’re considering joint replacement?
When a hip or knee replacement is recommended, whether it’s a total, partial or revision procedure, you’ll want to compare two or three surgeons for several important reasons.
Conventional vs New Techniques
Some doctors prefer to use conventional surgical methods, and others specialize in the latest techniques for hip or knee replacement. It’s important to check with your doctor on what methods he or she prefers and why.
A second opinion gives you the opportunity to compare different approaches, which are the different ways surgery can be performed. Also, choosing between different implant materials, different sizes of replacements, and the methods used to attach the implants are important aspects for you to explore and compare.
Partial or Full Hip or Knee Replacement
One doctor may recommend a full replacement, and another may decide that a partial is the best choice. While you may need a total hip or knee replacement, in some cases, joint damage is confined to a limited area and less invasive surgery is more appropriate. With a second opinion, you’ll more fully understand whether another doctor thinks a total knee or hip surgery is necessary, or if a partial replacement would work well for you.
Dangers of Avoiding Hip or Knee Replacement
It’s always important to discuss the dangers of avoiding a hip or knee replacement with your doctor. Generally, you run the risk of the following if you avoid a replacement:
- Progression of Joint Deformity: As arthritis progresses, it can cause an increase in the deformity of a joint. If you have knee arthritis, the most common warning sign of worsening joint deformity is increasing bow-leggedness. With hip arthritis, the leg can shrink as cartilage and bone wears away. Joint replacement can then become more complex as the deformity of the joint progresses. As a result, your doctor may have to use specialized implants or perform more extensive surgery to correct the deformity.
- Joint Stiffness: As the deformity progresses, your joint may become more stiff and painful. A natural reaction is to use it less. When you limit joint use and your physical activity due to stiffness and pain, the muscles weaken. Then rehabilitation after surgery could be more difficult, and it’s possible the muscles will never regain their full strength.
Contact Dr. Peter Sculco for More Information
Dr. Peter Sculco is a perfect second opinion doctor, because he is an expert in performing both total and partial hip and knee replacement surgeries using a variety of both traditional and conventional techniques.
Dr. Peter Sculco’s primary goal is to get you back to your normal routines with improved joint function and reduced or eliminated pain. Dr. Sculco’s rapid recovery approach uses various interventions to ensure faster recovery, while making the process as seamless as possible. For more information, call today to book an appointment.