THA: My Perspective – as a Patient!

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THA: My Perspective – as a Patient!

As an aging athlete and ardent skier, it was only a matter of time before I needed a replacement joint.

Thanks to my experiences as a lay board member for both the AAOS and WOA, I was confident in the procedural technicalities, but two personal side issues stood out.  

First, I was concerned about leg length uniformity; it is difficult to ski imbalanced.  I was worried how the operative hip length would be restored for balance as well as reducing the possibility of dislocation. My surgeon carefully templated my X-rays and discussed intraoperative checks to ensure a minimal differential. Second, I was apprehensive about pain, but the anesthesiologist gave me choices and I opted for a spinal. It worked perfectly and my postoperative pain was controlled without opioids.
This thoughtful, unrushed communication with my doctors – who listened, understood, and discussed my care – made me very confident of my care. I was able to participate in the decision process within a given set of acceptable medical parameters.  

Giving patients a sense of ownership or partnership is often discussed in the medical community, but not always practiced (see Communication is Key to Ease Worry about Orthopaedic Surgery). It greatly enhanced my patient experience.
See you on the slopes!

William Best
Lay Board Member, WOA
[email protected]

DISCLAIMER: Statements of fact and opinion are the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply an opinion or endorsement on the part of the officers or the members of WOA unless such opinion or endorsement is specifically stated. Materials may be reproduced only if Touches and the Western Orthopaedic Association are credited.

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Robert R. Slater Jr. - Tuesday, May 09, 2017

It is a never-ending battle to balance the need to take care of enough patients waiting for treatment while still slowing down enough to talk to every single one of them with enough patience to put them at ease as much as possible. Thank you, Bill, for reminding us of the importance of trying our best to invite and answer all our patients' questions with enough detail and in the right language, targeted for each individual, to ensure optimum experiences for all. In my opinion, we can all benefit from recalling from time to time what it was like when it was OUR turn to be on the other side of the examination table ! Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts. Happy days ahead on that new hip joint! -Bob Slater

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