According to an article written by Christopher J. Centeno, MD many patients are unsatisfied with the results of their knee or hip replacement surgeries. I think the number one thing orthopedic surgeons performing knee and hip surgeries can do to improve patient satisfaction is to inform their patients.

Inform their patients that they aren’t going to be one hundred percent pain free, they are going to have lower levels of activity then they expect, they need to be notified of any complication that could possibly take place and given other options.

According to the article written by Dr. Centeno, many patients receiving a knee or hip replacement believe that the surgery will completely relieve their pain. When in reality only a small number of patients end up completely pain free.

There was a study conducted that looked at over seventeen hundred patients and it was found that 56% of them reported they still had pain over five years after replacement surgery. Patients also believe that replacement surgery will allow them to be more active. There was a research study performed on patients before and after surgery to measure how active they were using accelerometer devices.

The study showed that the patients were no more active after replacement surgery than they were before. Basically, what the patient was able to do before the surgery is what the patient should expect to be able to do after the surgery. The surgeon should inform the patient that just because TV ads for knee and hip replacement surgery might show increased levels of activity after surgery, that it is not guaranteed and not that common to experience an increase in activity.

I would recommend the most reveling feedback a surgeon can get is to provide their patients with a prescreening survey followed by a post recovery survey. This would identify the patients’ perception prior to the surgery and the patients’ feelings post-rehabilitation, for those doctors truly concerned with identifying the best way to educate their patient to make an informed decision.

Patients also need to be notified of the health risks that can occur post replacement surgery. According to the article by Dr. Centeno heart attacks are 31 times more likely to occur post replacement surgery in patients over 60. Smoking could be fatal, especially within the first month, and bleeding stomach ulcers could also emerge following surgery.

The orthopedic surgeon should also inform the patient that the replacement part will, more than likely, cause the amount of toxic metal ions in their blood to increase. Patients should also be informed that they have other options to relieve their pain besides invasive replacement surgery. For example, one option for the patient could be the Regenexx stem cell injections.

These injections are nonsurgical and much safer for the patient. They also relieve the patient from the recovery time of the advanced knee or hip replacement surgery. By the orthopedic surgeons keeping their patients informed it will increase the patient satisfaction. They will be able to make an educated decision on how they want to proceed with their treatment, it will eliminate false expectations and the patients will know exactly how the replacement surgery will affect them.

2016 Scholarship Finalist

Mikaela T

Gilbert, Arizona

The final question on the application was an essay question.

The essay question was:

How can orthopedic surgeons doing hip and knee replacement surgery improve patient satisfaction?

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