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Researching Surgeons

Old Rocker

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Hello - new victim to the world of hip problems here. Diagnosed with stage II AVN in left hip and stage I in my right hip yesterday. Doctor talked of CD. He mentioned that he'd done more THRs than he could remember, but only about 4-5 CDs. He seems nice enough etc, but I only got to him through Blue Cross referral as my network is very small and none of the docs that were referred to me by friends and associates are in my network.

After immersing myself in research on this stuff, I'm not real eager to go through CD with its fairly low rates of success. I'm mid 50s and literally at the peak of a music career as a touring guitarist in a well known music group. I need a quick recovery solution with a high probability of success, so I'm going to ask the doctor if he could just move me to a THR and bypass the CD.

I've looked around a little bit, but haven't found much into on how to research a surgeon's record, credentials, etc. Is there some kind of database that contains the number of procedures done by a particular doctor? I've lived 55 years with no medical issue and don't have much of a local network of medical professionals in my circle to confer with.
 
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Jaycey

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@Old Rocker I would tend to agree with your position on moving to THR instead of CD. I had my first THR at 58 - and the doc considered that "young". But frankly it's a trend we are seeing. People are living active lives and hips wear out.
I need a quick recovery solution
Well a quick recovery is not guaranteed. But yes, recovery from THR is usually easier than from CD. Here are a couple of articles on the timeframe:
Healing: how long does it take?
Chart representation of THR recovery
Activity progression for THRs

I am in the UK but will tag our admin @Jamie about sources to research your surgeon.
 

CHD2015

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@Old Rocker,
BCBS does have some ratings available in their database for searching - I think they are levels of distinction. They also have some joint replacement centers that are certified.
 

Jamie

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I can help you look for surgeons too. You are in the St. Petersburg area, right?

Also, here is a link for Florida surgeons to see how many hip/knee replacements they do a year.

Physician Volume


And here is a wonderful scorecard site to find out complication rates and number of surgeries performed for US surgeons based on Medicare statistics.

https://projects.propublica.org/surgeons/
 
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Old Rocker

Old Rocker

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Thank you Jamie - that is excellent info. Just curious, how did you know I was in the St. Pete area?
 

Suttree

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I'm researching surgeons and wanted to see if there should be an expectation of a 'custom THR plan' specific to the measurements on my x-ray / MRI (e.g. the surgeon does 200 per year but has a somewhat unique plan for each procedure). Is that a normal pre-op conversation you have with the surgeon? Or is THR typically a one size fits all procedure?

Off topic . . but my 8 year old wants to know if its an option to bring the removed hip home after the procedure. I guessed that it was likely broken into many pieces and not whole. True?
 

Jaycey

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There is a procedure called Makoplasty that is robot assisted in placing the implant. However the kit to do this is extremely expensive and not many areas have it. It's more frequently used on knees.

Your surgeon will have an array of implant sizes and will decide what which size fits you once they have accessed the joint. In most cases they will use the implant they have the most experience in using taking into account your own medical situation and lifestyle.

I'm afraid your 8 year old is going to be disappointed. The old joint will be appropriately disposed of by staff trained in this area. I had the option of donating my femoral head to a bone bank to be ground up and used in bone grafting. Here's a thread about it from our Library: Donating your femoral head to the bone bank .
 

Miss Muffet

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I donated mine to the bone bank. I figured if it could do someone else some good that counted as a positive outcome on both counts!
 

GrannyC

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@Jamie I loved the link you posted above about Medicare doctor stats. When I researched the surgeon I finally chose, he had his stats readily available online which I liked. He was not the first surgeon I visited but after going to his office, seeing how the office functioned, how I was treated and meeting this surgeon, I immediately had confidence in him. At the first office I visited, I had a question after my visit so I sent a note via patient portal. No response after a week so I called and left message. Another week and no response so I sent another rather nasty note via patient portal saying I had little confidence in this office if I can't reach them. Same day of that message, dr himself returned my call apologizing. Etc. that helped but I still wanted to check someone else. The one I chose has an amazing office system with someone available 24/7 after hours after surgery to answer questions. I called last weekend and had a call back within 5 minutes. Three days after discharge drs nurse called to check on me and see how I was doing. According to dr stats, which are very similar to those showing on chart Jamie provided, he does over 500 joint replacements a year with over 98% success rate so I know I made the right decision. My recovery has been amazing with no problems to date.

Bottom line to this long story is that it is worth researching a bit before making a decision. I wish you all the best.
 

Jamie

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Wow, what a great story! I'm so glad this resource worked for you. Now if we could just get all the doctors' offices to realize how important good customer service is to patients!
 

sfbaylover

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I have yet to have hip replacement surgery, but after considerable research, I have selected who I think is an excellent surgeon. I live in So. Cal, and over the years I have seen various hip specialist, all of whom were probably excellent surgeons. But after researching various specialists as well as hospitals, my search led me to the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC, where I was evaluated by Thomas Sculco, who is the chief of orthopedics, and who has been doing hip replacement for 45 years. He's 73 years old and still going strong. I was greatly impressed with Dr. Sculco and look forward to having him replace my hip.
 

Susan209

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Hello all, just wondering if there is any kind of database like this for Australia? @Jamie @Jaycey - would you know of anything? I'm yet to find any numbers, reviews, etc. for surgeons...
Also, @Miss Muffet is there anything like the UK Bone Bank in Australia? I'm still a ways out from a THR, but would be interested to know...
Thank you Sue
 

Jamie

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I'm not aware of any research tools for Australia to help you evaluate a surgeon.
 

dougie0216

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Are you an old rocker? I finally got to play my Strat pain free the other day for the first time in 6mos. I sucked but I sucked real loud.
 

JAS

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@Susan209. My wonderful surgeon here in the UK trained in minimally invasive rapid recovery THR in Perth. I think you can probably research this via Google and find out if there are similarly trained surgeons in Sydney - I am sure there must be. I am seeing him again in three weeks and if you have no luck I can ask him if he can recommend someone when I see him. Let me know.
 

Susan209

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Hi @JAS, thank you for the info. [emoji3] I'll look into tomorrow. Will let you know.


Sent from my iPhone using BoneSmart Forum
 

Susan209

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Hello again @JAS I didn't have much luck searching on google. I'd greatly appreciate if you could check with your surgeon when you next see him. Many thanks. Sue
 
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Old Rocker

Old Rocker

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Are you an old rocker? I finally got to play my Strat pain free the other day for the first time in 6mos. I sucked but I sucked real loud.
Living with bilateral AVN is making me real old QUICK! I've scraped myself through the year and am now just 3 days away from LTHR. Played my last show as a 100% organic human last night. My Strats are awaiting my return. Glad to hear you are on the other side!
 

dougie0216

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Hah! Organic is overrated. I have two nice fender stools. It got so bad before RTHR, I couldn't even sit on them and play. It hurt to stand, it hurt to sit...I could not play guitars or keys for over ten minutes. I played some yesterday and was only limited by reality I no longer have calluses.

I would highly recommend McBride Orthopedic in OKC. The take BCBS and Cigna. I've had both hips done and McBride is one of the most professionalism organizations I have ever encountered, anywhere, medical or not.

The only drawback is, since they are physician owned, they expect the copay up front. My wife and I both have had joint replacement there this year. The swimming pool will have to wait another year.

Moving out of town and hip replacement mean I am no longer in a band. I have a good day job, I'll be awite.

Good luck
Doug
 

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