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Questions to Ask Yourself When Deciding Whether to Have Orthopedic Surgery

Are You Considering Orthopedic Surgery in San Francisco?

There are some key factors that are important in helping you determine whether you should undertake orthopedic surgery in San Francisco to treat injuries. These questions will aid your decision-making process.   


Are Non-Surgical Options Exhausted?

There may be other noninvasive treatments or management approaches, including pain medications, physical therapy, disease-modifying drug treatments, exercise, or diet, that may relieve symptoms. Nonsurgical options can also improve joint function (eg. splinting, orthotics) or help adjusting to a disability (eg. use of walkers).

Would Delaying Surgery Create Risks?

Your orthopedic doctor in San Francisco should be able to tell you whether your condition will continue to worsen over time and how this might affect function and quality of life. Delaying surgery could increase the risk of structural changes, making surgery more difficult and decreasing chances of success. 

Am I Healthy Enough for Surgery?

Your complication risk increases if you are overweight, have a history of heart attack or stroke, currently have hypertension, diabetes, bleeding disorders, or have had a recent infection anywhere in the body. 

How Could I Better Guarantee a Successful Outcome?

Being overweight is one big factor that increases risk of complications preventing a successful outcome. Lose weight through a careful, balanced diet and exercise. Regular exercise before surgery would make recuperating easier and better prepare you for rehabilitation activities. Exercise also decreases the risk of infections and clotting.  

Are My Hopes Realistic?

Talk to your orthopedic surgeon in San Francisco to assess your goals concerning pain relief and restoration of range of motion and stability. Also ask what percentage of patients needed another similar procedure 1, 2, 5 and 10 years later. If your surgeon says that they are not sure or that there is a 50/50 chance of realizing your hopes, perhaps reconsider having the surgery.

Does the Surgery Have a High Incidence of Complications?

Your doctor should be able to inform you about the percentage of patients experiencing complications such as blood clots, infections, or cardiac events. Weighing risks against possible success and quality of life is an important part of the decision making process. 

How Long Is Recovery?

Would recovery length affect your job? If you cannot afford to be off work for too long, it may be better to delay surgery.

Do I Have Help at Home?

It’s not easy to recover from joint surgery when you’re living alone. For at least a few weeks, you’ll likely need some help from family or close friends to get dressed, prepare food, change your bandages, and move around.

Am I Willing to Do the Work Involved in Rehabilitation?

To get the best results, you will need to commit yourself to working hard on recovery after surgery. It is said that 10% of the success lies with the surgeon, 10% with the surgery, and 10% with the physical therapist. The rest would be up to you. Taking an active part in your recovery process is important.

Would You Like to Speak to an Orthopedic Surgeon in San Francisco?

If you are considering surgery, contact Dr. Jeffrey Halbrecht for a consultation to further assist your decision-making process.


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