Questions to ask your GP
The next step is to talk to your GP. It is important to have a frank and open conversation with them about what you want to achieve with your knee replacement. It may be a good idea to take a short written list of questions with you to your GP consultation.
Ask your GP about their experience with other patients who have had knee implants. They may be able to help guide your research or, if you have done some research already, they may be able to comment on your findings including manufacturer’s marketing claims.
In some countries, you will need to request a referral from your GP before you see a knee specialist. Your GP can also assist you in finding the best available specialist knee surgeon and set up a consultation. Ask your GP which knee surgeon and hospital they would recommend and why. Does the surgeon perform knee replacement surgery regularly? Surgeons may get better results from devices that they are experienced in using.
Does the surgeon use the device that you would like to receive? Orthopaedic surgeons will usually be more experienced in using one or two devices, a small percentage of what is actively available on the market. By only speaking to one surgeon you are seriously limiting your options over the device you receive. Liken this to going to a Ford car showroom, not realising if you had done some research, you might actually be happier with a Jaguar. The ford dealer won’t offer you that!
You can also talk to your GP about whether to have your knee replacement surgery done privately or within your state healthcare system – for example the NHS.
When you meet the surgeon, tell them what is important to you and what you would like. Are they happy to discuss their results with you? Remember that you do not have to accept what one surgeon tells you and are free to talk to more than one surgeon. It may be that you need to shop around to get the implant you want.