The research done by ClearCut ORTHO has shown on average 76% of patients do not seek out second opinions prior to surgery, even when it was discussed with them on the first visit, and even when no other treatments have been attempted. This can be a dangerous risk considering the amount of research coming out describing long term outcomes no different between surgery and conservative care for many of the most popular orthopedic surgeries.
It's hard enough to first get the confidence you need to challenge a diagnosis and treatment option provided to you by your healthcare provider. But once you do, it can be tough to figure out where to go. If you are struggling with how to get a second opinion try a few of these tips to help you find the care you deserve:
- Try going to a different discipline to get further advice. For example, if you saw an orthopedic surgeon, try seeing a non-surgical specialist like a PMR (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Doctor) or a Physical Therapist.
- Don’t tell the next doctor right up front that you’re getting a second opinion or what the previous diagnosis and treatment options were. Let them go through their history and exam without any bias. At the end you have the option of discussing the first physician’s views with them.
- Look for fellowship-trained surgeons, and look if possible for doctors at university-affiliated medical centers who generally see more complex cases.
- Seek out fellowship-trained physical therapists (FAAOMPT) or therapists with board specializations in orthopedics (OCS).
You can find more advice on how to get the most beneficial care, the specific questions to ask your provider to avoid unnecessary procedures, and much more in our eBook Collection.