For routine health care many people don’t consider getting a second opinion, but with knee and shoulder injuries that may require surgery, getting a second opinion is more common.
When Should You Get A Second Opinion?
People feel comfortable getting a second opinion for a complicated injury or when they don’t understand the treatment options. In many cases, this is simply due to the doctor not providing enough information or not answering the patient’s questions in a way they understand.
In cases of knee and shoulder injuries, common reasons for getting a second opinion include:
- A doctor suggesting surgery is the only option, even before exploring non-surgical treatments
- When a doctor cannot explain the rationale for surgery or how it will benefit the patient
- When a doctor prefers open surgery through an incision vs. minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery
- A patient who has already had surgery, the surgery did not work and the doctor is recommending additional surgeries
- Feeling uncomfortable with the surgeon’s diagnosis
- The sense a doctor is trying to rush them to make a decision
What To Ask When Getting A Second Opinion
If you are planning to get a second opinion take the time to find a specialist who can explain your treatment options and take the time to communicate them to you.
Before your appointment make a list of questions or concerns you have about the recommended surgery and discuss them with the specialist. Are you unclear on why surgery is needed, don’t understand your injury well, think it might be misdiagnosed, or want to try other alternatives to avoid surgery altogether?
Ask the surgeon about their experience with your specific injury, what surgical and non-surgical treatments they commonly recommend and the expected results.
What If The Second Doctor Also Recommends Surgery?
In some cases, surgery can’t be avoided. Even if a second doctor recommends surgery, taking the time to get a second opinion isn’t a waste. In some cases the second doctor may provide a less-invasive option.
Second Opinion for Rotator Cuff Tears
For example, patients often consult Dr. Goradia for a second opinion regarding rotator cuff tears, especially when they have been told their tear can’t be repaired at all or can’t be done arthroscopically. In many of these cases Dr. Goradia can repair the tear and with arthroscopic surgery.
Over the last several years he developed a new surgical technique for massive rotator cuff tears that have poor tissue quality or are severely retracted and scarred. With this technique, he can reinforce the rotator repair with donor tissue. Although use of these tissues has existed for many years with open surgery, Dr. Goradia’s technique allows him to place the tissue into the shoulder arthroscopically.
For many patients who have come to his office seeking a second opinion he was able to provide a better outcome using minimally invasive surgery vs. the originally recommended open surgery.
Second Opinion for Knee Arthritis and Replacement Surgery
Dr. Goradia also sees patients seeking a second opinion when total knee replacement surgery is recommended. In a recent knee pain seminar, Dr. Goradia noted research indicating that 43% of patients who had a total knee replacement didn’t need actually need one because not all areas of their knee were damaged.
In some cases Dr. Goradia can perform a partial knee replacement instead of a total replacement. This benefits the patient by leaving healthy tissues in tact, provides a more precise surgery, less pain, faster recovery and a more natural feeling knee.
If you have a knee or shoulder injury, or are experiencing pain, call our office at (804) 678-9000 or book an appointment online with Dr. Goradia. He doesn’t believe in a one-size fits all approach to treating injuries and opts for the least invasive treatment possible. He also doesn’t believe in making patients wait week for an appointment. In many cases he can fit patients in within 24-48 hours.