Top Questions to Ask your Prospective Orthopedic Doctor

When you have suffered a bone or joint injury or are experiencing skeletal pain for any reason, it can feel impossible to choose the right doctor. With so many options available to you, how do you know you are choosing the right orthopedist? The following topics can help you interview thoroughly.

Orthopedic Surgery Specific Questions

Facility Options
When visiting an orthopedic surgeon, he or she may need to perform a variety of tests ranging from x-rays, MRI scans, blood work, and more. Are complete services available at the provider’s facility, or would you be required to go to multiple sites to have all required tests completed? Many orthopedic surgery specialists are located in a facility that can handle everything.

Experience with Your Issue
While all certified orthopedic surgery specialists complete a schooling program and can attend to your general issue, it may be more helpful to work with a doctor who has treated many patients with your condition. The doctor will be versed in the most effective courses of treatment. You may also inquire about his or her success ratio with your issue.

Specialties and Subspecialties
Just as having a doctor with condition-specific experience lends to that educational depth, having a doctor who practices a specialty is equally valuable. Declaring a specialty in the eyes of a medical board means additional certification and coursework. Ask if your orthopedic surgery specialist has specified his or her practice to your type of condition and if they stay current on new technologies and methods.

Standard Practice Questions

Wait Time for Appointment Scheduling
If you are in pain from an injury or even a normal result of aging, you do not want to wait months for an appointment slot. Though a good surgeon may be in heavy demand, it is also an indicator of a healthy practice if he or she limits the number of patients they see on a monthly basis.

When interviewing new doctors, you might ask about their philosophy. Some are conservative in their treatment choices, opting for mild pain medications and time over surgical solutions. Some may be progressive and willing to try experimental treatments or procedures in the name of a better result for you.

Choosing the right doctor is a very important task. Taking the time to educate yourself on your potential doctor’s background and specialties is very likely to give you better results from your treatment.


  1. I agree that you would want to consider the limitations of an orthopedic surgeon’s facility before you choose them. I would imagine that someone who has all the latest and relevant technology would probably be a pretty safe bet. My sister is in need of some hand surgery so she’ll have to find an orthopedic surgeon who has sufficient equipment to do it.

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