Fellowship Trained Shoulder Specialist
Choosing a shoulder specialist is rarely an easy proposition. You can ask your friends about their experience, search the internet, or ask your primary care physician for a referral. Don’t be surprised, however, if you get lots of information that really doesn’t have anything to do with your individual case. The problem, of course, is that people rarely have good memories of their painful experiences. That’s why it’s not uncommon to listen to someone tell their story about how horrible their experience was and end it with “oh yea, surgery was a piece of cake.”
Still, there’s little doubt that choosing a shoulder surgeon when you are injured can be stressful. If your shoulder injury is acute, you may not have an unlimited amount of time to shop around. Even if your injury is chronic and not as urgent, you may be feeling anxiety about the fact that you only get one chance to pick the right surgeon the first time. Maybe you’re anxious about the recovery time, because you need to heal quickly in order to perform your job and pay your bills. You might be the primary caretaker for children or an elderly parent, and your shoulder pain or shoulder injury may be limiting your ability to take care of your family. Perhaps you’re concerned about your insurance coverage and deductibles. Maybe you already saw another surgeon and were disappointed with the outcome. Or, like most people, you’re fearful of pain, and fear coming out of surgery worse off than before. Now you’re wondering how to pick the right doctor who can help you get back to “optimal”- YOUR optimal for YOUR life and YOUR activities.
Please know that we are dedicated to your shoulder health and want you to have a successful and positive experience. Asking questions is the very best way to make sure you have the very best information. With that in mind, here’s a helpful checklist to use when selecting a shoulder specialist:
1) Is the doctor an Orthopedic Generalist or an Orthopedic Shoulder Specialist?
2) Has the doctor completed a fellowship in shoulder surgery?
3) Is the doctor recognized among his or her peers (awards)?
4) Does the doctor teach other doctors and students?
5) Is the doctor skilled in more complex cases, such as total replacement or reverse total replacement?
6) Does the doctor perform surgery at a technologically advanced orthopedic surgical center?
7) What happens if a secondary procedure needs to be performed?
8) How will your post-operative care be managed, and who will provide it?
Lots of physicians perform shoulder procedures. You want a physician who specializes in doing your shoulder procedure very well. Research indicates that both the complication rate and the length of recovery decrease when you choose a shoulder specialist to perform your procedure.
At the Oklahoma Shoulder Center, we know you have a choice of shoulder surgeons, and we value YOU, the individual patient. Whether you are a professional athlete, homemaker, farmer, CEO, physician, retiree, driver, or office worker, we care about your specific needs. Whether you’re facing common rotator cuff surgery or a complex reverse total replacement, let us help you optimize your health and mobility by calling (405) 278-8006 to arrange a consultation with Dr. Betsy Nolan.