Home Health When Your Doctor Says You Need Surgery: How Did You Get Here?

When Your Doctor Says You Need Surgery: How Did You Get Here?


Have you been diagnosed with a medical condition and you’re worried or concerned that you may need surgery? There are several medical problems that can only be resolved through surgery. While physical therapy and pain medications are often the first resort for most musculoskeletal issues, it may not be enough to completely heal your condition or improve your quality of life. If this is the case, your doctor will refer you to a surgeon. Here are a few conditions that may require you to get a surgical consultation.

Hip Replacement

Hip and leg pain can make it extremely difficult to move around and be as mobile as you would like to be. If shooting leg pain, stiffness and numbness are getting in the way of everyday life, you need to see your doctor. They may rule out common problems such as stiffness or arthritis. They may utilize surgery to correct your condition if you make an appointment to inquire about how to fix knock knees or another joint condition. If they determine that the joints in your hip and legs are deteriorating or impinging on nerves, they may suggest hip replacement surgery. An orthopedic surgeon will consult with you to determine if you need a partial or full hip replacement. It depends on your age and the severity of your pain and limited range of motion. The surgery will require an overnight hospital stay and weeks of physical therapy. On a positive note, you may be able to reduce the number of pain medications you’re on and you’ll be able to function throughout the day with a pain-free lifestyle.

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Rotator Cuff Surgery

Have you been experiencing a lot of pain lately, especially in your shoulder? If you’ve tried to treat it with over the counter pain medications and you’ve been unsuccessful, you need to consult with your doctor. After doing a physical exam and some diagnostic testing, they may determine that you need surgery on your rotator cuff. This type of surgery is done in most major hospitals and your recovery time depends on the severity of the injury. Rotator cuff surgery includes trimming any bone spur and removing away loose cartilage that is causing the bone to rub against the joint. For cases of advanced arthritis or disc degeneration, metal plates or bone grafts may be used to stabilize the area and improve overall range of motion. Most shoulder surgeries are either outpatient or only require a day or two in the hospital. It depends on any underlying medical problems or complications that may arise.

Unforeseen Emergencies

Sometimes an emergency comes up and it’s imperative that you have surgery right away to save your life or reduce complications. This may include:

  • Ruptured appendix
  • Heart attack or heart blockage
  • Stroke
  • Broken bones

If you find yourself in an emergency situation, your doctor will prepare you for what to expect. It can be emotionally challenging to face an unexpected surgery or procedure. Make sure you let your family know ahead of time if you can what your preference is for a hospital. It’s also good to have a DPOA or medical durable power of attorney in place before surgery. This also includes a living will and a Do Not Resuscitate order if you decide to have one signed. Seeking a qualified attorney to have these things in place sooner rather than later, can avoid scrambling around and being indecisive during a medical emergency.

Heart-Related Conditions

When you have something going on that is cardiovascular in nature, it can really bring you down physically as well as mentally. In some cases, a heart problem is diagnosed through routine testing, such as blood work or when you have your vital signs taken at the doctor’s office. A cardiovascular surgeon will be able to perform most routine surgeries such as heart valve replacements and defibrillators. Because of technological advancements, most cardiovascular related procedures are outpatient or have a minimal postoperative hospital stay. The key is not to delay getting the surgery done, your quality of life may depend on it.

There are many types of surgeries and procedures that all humans may face at one point or time in life. Being armed with the facts is the best way to deal with the issue head on and come up with the best resolution for your situation.