Do you experience chronic hip pain, and feel frustrated because you can’t move properly? Hip pain is debilitating and can impede your mobility and ability to perform daily tasks. Finding the root cause of the problem is essential. It will help doctors come up with a treatment plan to restore your ability to walk, run, and even dance again – pain-free.
One of the most complex decisions when faced with an ailment that affects your overall health and quality of life, is finding the right doctor who can provide relief and quality service.
With so many choices, you may be left wondering where to start. In this blog, we’ve rounded up the qualities of a good hip surgeon in Singapore and when to seek the help of your doctor for hip pain.
What is a Hip Surgeon?
Orthopaedic surgery, or orthopaedics, is the branch of surgery that focuses on diagnosing, treating, and preventing conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. They treat conditions involving the bones, joints, tendons, muscles, ligaments, and nerves.
Orthopaedists manage various conditions, ranging from fractures, dislocations, sprains and strains, torn ligaments, sciatica, ruptured discs and bursitis, to hip problems. Meanwhile, a hip surgeon is an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in conditions affecting the hip.
Some common hip conditions treated by hip surgeons include osteoporosis of the hips, hip dysplasia, snapping hip syndrome, hip labral tear, hip dislocation and fracture, and hip avascular necrosis, among others. They also perform treatment procedures like minimally invasive hip replacement, hip resurfacing, total hip replacement, and hip arthroscopy.
Qualities of a Good Hip Surgeon
You should see a hip doctor when you experience mobility problems, chronic pain, and discomfort. Here’s the kind of hip doctor you should look for:
1. Trained and experienced in treating hip problems
When you are faced with finding treatment for your hip pain, choosing a hip surgeon is crucial. You want someone who is experienced and has training on the treatment you need.
The doctor’s training and years of experience are imperative in ensuring the safety and efficacy of the procedures performed. A study by researchers at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, reported that the more procedures surgeons have completed, the more positive their patients’ outcomes.
The study suggests that surgeons do improve with experience, increased surgical case volume, and years of practice. However, the study also noted that a plateau would be reached, wherein flattening out of the learning curve occurs.
To prevent this, surgeons should maintain an up-to-date knowledge of their line of expertise to provide specialised advice to patients. This is where additional training comes into the picture. Getting trained to perform a range of invasive and non-invasive procedures on patients is crucial to provide high-quality services, favourable outcomes, and safety.
2. Skilled in performing complex surgeries
A hip surgeon’s abilities, proficiencies, and skills are essential to provide patients with safe and effective treatment. Surgeries are taxing, intellectually demanding, and complicated, requiring the needed skills to perform them correctly.
Successful hip surgeons provide care for patients by communicating with them, collaborating with a medical team, and executing procedures accurately. Further, they must have mechanical skills since they should possess good dexterity and hand coordination. Additionally, surgeons can successfully operate if they have good eye-hand coordination since it involves using equipment and tools to drill through bones.
3. Empathetic and patient
When you’re in pain, visiting the doctor’s clinic can be stressful and upsetting. The treatment and recovery period also takes much patience. Nevertheless, if the doctor empathises with you, it helps ease your anxiety and distress.
Empathy is being able to understand the feelings of others and what they’re going through. Hip surgeons must be empathetic about each patient’s experience to establish rapport with them and provide a good medical judgement.
A skilled surgeon should also be patient during the treatment and recovery process. To provide quality care and positive outcomes, they should be willing to work with the patient throughout the process.
4. Has good communication skills
To a layman, medical jargon can be difficult to understand. Therefore, doctors should have proficient communication skills to talk to their patients. Further, find a doctor with attentive listening skills who takes the time to address your concerns.
Finally, the surgeon should walk you through the procedure when surgery is involved, providing a clear picture of what to expect and the recovery time needed.
5. Flexible and has an open mind
As opposed to adhering to a cookie-cutter approach to medicine, competent surgeons are flexible when caring for their patients. They are willing to explore various options to tailor a treatment plan to meet a patient’s needs.
The surgeon should also recognise that no two patients are the same, and each patient needs an individually-evaluated and tailored treatment. Further, they are willing to put in the time and effort necessary to find a solution to the patient’s problem.
Aside from all these, your orthopaedic surgeon should act as your partner during treatment. They also need to respect your decisions, feelings, and thoughts. Additionally, they should understand that patients make decisions about their treatment plans, and they should support those choices.
6. Willing to update skills and technology
It’s no secret that technology is ever-evolving in the healthcare industry. As medical advances emerge frequently, hip surgeons must be able to adapt to changing times. Doctors should be enthusiastic and committed to learning updated skills and techniques in surgery and be able to use modern technology to yield positive outcomes.
Additionally, orthopaedic surgeons and doctors should be willing to learn new skills and ensure their knowledge is up-to-date by attending workshops, training, and symposiums.
Theoretical knowledge and practical skills are crucial to providing quality care for patients. In addition, delivering quality healthcare services to patients involves being flexible, understanding, open-minded, empathic, and patient.
These qualities enable the hip surgeon to make sound practical judgments, find the underlying cause of the patient’s discomfort, and treat it accordingly. If you’re looking for an orthopaedic surgeon who fits all these characteristics, you’ve come to the right place. You can book a consultation with A/Professor Andrew Dutton by calling us at (+65) 6836 8000 for a comprehensive evaluation of your hip pain.