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Tips to Finding the Best Surgeon

Melissa Palmer

Many of us find that wear and tear on our bodies start to show around 40 to 50 years of age.

It is at that time that people start to seek out a good orthopedic physician/surgeon to investigate solutions to fixing the areas of their bodies that need repair. One of the most common surgeries is a repair to the rotator cuff.

The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles connecting the upper arm to the shoulder blade. It is an area that is used everyday in basic life tasks, but can be over used or injured by athletes or people in professions that do repetitive tasks.

Recently, a family member experienced an injury and we needed to investigate where we should go to find solutions. With a physician in the family and having been a medical sales representative earlier in my career, our family has had a lot of exposure to the medical community. We knew that we wanted the procedure done locally, so that helped to narrow the search.

It is important to be your own advocate and do your own research. There are many great physicians that are board certified and specialize in different types of orthopedic surgery. Finding the best one for a family member, should take a bit of time and research.

These are the methods we used to find an orthopedic specialist for surgery:

Contact your local hospital and surgical centers and ask the nurses who would they have perform their surgery? Ask which doctors are great communicators? Many nurses are legally not allowed to recommend just one physician, but can usually give a few names or that of a practice of doctors.

Stop by local physical therapy centers in the area and talk to the therapists. Ask who are some of the doctors they work with whose patients have good outcomes? Most will give you a few names to contact.

Ask your primary care physician. They are usually employed by a health system and required to recommend a surgeon that is employed in their network. You may not receive an opinion of someone outside network, but the names they give you might be ones recommended by other sources, helping you to narrow your results.

Consult with more than one physician before scheduling surgery. Surgery is a big deal. Being an advocate for your health, and that of a family member is critical. Consulting surgeons and being comfortable with who you choose, will help alleviate worry prior to surgery and also help with an overall understanding of what is to come.

Ask potential surgeons these very important questions: How many procedures like the one you are investigating, do they do each year? Are they board certified in the area of specialty your surgery requires? How many years have they been certified in that area?

We did our research and decided that Michael Kogan, MD of Midwest Bone & Joint would be the appropriate surgeon to fix the rotator cuff.

He has over 20 years experience as a sports physician and has done over 1000 rotator cuff repairs. His name was one that was recommended by nurses, physical therapists and surgical centers. He is also Board Certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery ABOS) since 1997.

Whatever your surgical needs, performing the proper steps to finding the right physician, can help assure the best choice and hopefully best outcome.