The decision to have joint surgery is a big one, so it is important to gather as much information about the surgery as you can.

Here are some important questions to ask your doctor and/or surgeon to help you better understand the surgery you are considering.

  • What other kinds of treatment could I have instead of surgery? How successful might those treatments be?
  • Can you explain this surgical procedure, step by step?
  • May I view materials or videos of this surgery?
  • How long does this surgery typically take?
  • Do you offer a class or informational meeting on the surgery?
  • Is this surgery performed on an outpatient basis?
  • What risks are involved in the surgery?
  • Am I eligible for new, minimally invasive techniques or high-flex replacements?
  • How can I avoid blood transfusions? What other options are there?
  • What type of anesthesia will be used? What are the risks of anesthesia?
  • How much improvement can I expect from the surgery?
  • Will more surgery be necessary? After what period of time?
  • If I choose to undergo this surgery, will my family doctor be involved in my hospital stay? If so, in what way?
  • Are you board-certified? Do you have a special interest or experience in arthritis surgery?
  • What is your experience doing this type of surgery?
  • Can you give me the name of someone else who has undergone this surgery and would talk to me about it?
  • Is an exercise program recommended before or after the operation?
  • Must I stop taking – or increase the dosage of – any medications before surgery?
  • What happens if I delay surgery? Even for a few months?
  • What are the risks if I don’t have the surgery?