How Your Primary Physician and Orthopedic Surgeon Work Together
Your orthopedic surgeon will work closely with your regular medical doctor before and after your joint replacement surgery. An orthopedic surgeon is an expert on the conditions that affect the bones, joints and muscles of your body. Your medical doctor is an expert on medical conditions and knows a great deal about your individual medical needs during the preparation, hospitalization and postoperative recovery. Together, these two doctors will work as a team to decide if you need special preparation for surgery and whether you need to see additional specialists during this period.
Before surgery, it is important that you arrange an appointment with your regular medical doctor as you are planning surgery so that he or she may alert your orthopedic surgeon to any special needs that you may have. If you have not had a complete physical examination recently, your medical doctor may suggest that you do so to ensure that you have no new medical problems that have not been identified in the past. This may reduce or eliminate some of the risks associated with the operation. While in the hospital, your medical doctor will be available for your medical needs and your orthopedic surgeon will handle the orthopedic care. Following surgery, you may be asked to make appointments to see both your medical doctor and orthopedic surgeon to make sure that you receive the best care for your orthopedic and medical problems.