Given the fact that the shoulder is the most mobile but the least stable joint in the body, problems in it are unsurprisingly common. Your best bet if you want to minimize your risk for shoulder problems or to receive the specialized care you need is to work with a shoulder surgeon.
As with finding any other type of healthcare provider, choosing the right shoulder surgeon entails considering a number of important factors, such as the doctor’s credentials, skills, bedside manner, and compatibility with you. After all, the last thing you want is to entrust your health and recovery to a medical professional you’re not comfortable working with or whose opinion you don’t even trust.
Below, we’ve listed a few tips to help you find the right shoulder surgeon for your care.
Tip #1 Get referrals from your primary care physician (PCP) or recommendations from your family or other people you trust.
Your PCP is your most reliable referral source, especially if you have insurance. There are insurance companies that won’t help pay for your treatment unless you get a referral from your PCP. Your primary care doctor can refer you to a respectable, in-network shoulder surgeon to help you with your specific concern.
Also, if a loved one or a friend has had similar shoulder issues and likes a particular provider, get the name and contact information. That shoulder surgeon could be the right fit for you.
Tip #2 Do a background check.
Using your list of prospective candidates, run an Internet search to gather important information about their background and credentials.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons website has a portal that you can access to glean information about your prospective shoulder surgeon, particularly about whether they are board-certified. Board certification gives you the assurance that the surgeon is qualified, knowledgeable, and capable of giving you the best possible treatment outcome, and keeps abreast of the latest advances in surgical techniques and technology.
Additionally, you can use the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) website to verify whether the shoulder surgeon is free from malpractice claims or has no history of disciplinary action.
Tip #3 Arrange a consultation.
Your initial visit with your prospective shoulder surgeon will tell you a lot about the office atmosphere, friendliness of the staff, wait times, the bedside manner and communication style of the surgeon, and whether you’re comfortable working with them.
Be sure to ask the doctor the details of your treatment, including what your options are, if you need surgery, and the possible outcomes. Notice how they address your questions and concerns. If they take the time to understand your concerns and answer you thoroughly and patiently, and if they show genuine concern for the outcome of your treatment and overall well-being, you might have just found the right shoulder surgeon for you.
Trusted Shoulder Surgeon in Carmel, IN
At Total Shoulder, Dr. Stephen Jacobsen, our highly qualified shoulder surgeon, is best known for his expertise, compassionate approach, and commitment to delivering the best patient outcomes for the entire range of shoulder problems. You can trust him to get you feeling, moving, and living better, just as he has helped scores of patients in Carmel, Indiana, and all of its neighboring communities.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Jacobsen, give us a call at (317) 705-4392. We look forward to serving you!