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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Second Opinions

Second Opinions: Musings from a Footstool #1

After over 30 years practicing the science and art of podiatry, I fully appreciate the role of 2nd opinions for treatment of injuries. I am fortunate to work at an institution that 2nd opinions are almost 2nd nature. But, it is not the norm. I believe getting a second opinion for orthopedic/podiatric surgery is really a no-brainer, unless you are stuck in an emergency situation. But for most cases of elective foot and ankle surgery, getting at least 2 opinions can be helpful. It is ideal that a non-surgeon (podiatrist, therapist, primary care physician, sports medicine physician) helps you decipher the recommendations of two surgeons before you go under the knife. This is the ideal world, but hopefully, you can get this type of ideal treatment. For most, that is way too much work to do. But, you can not go back and reverse surgery. Even, when the two surgical opinions are identical, you will develop a feel for which surgeon you want to do the surgery. Find out how the surgical approaches are different, and what differences are in the post operative treatment.
Second opinions for complicated non-surgical problems are less commonly done. But, the approaches of physicians can be so different that they should be done when improvement is stymied. If a doctor/therapist ever implies that you will not get better because of your age, definitely get another opinion. Age can be a factor, but normally only a small part of a slow healing process. Take an active role in your own care, at least you and your family will have less surprises in the process.

1 comment:

  1. I certainly agree with the value of a second opinion. As Rich notes in an early post, many of the cases of plantar fasciitis he sees are actually something else. I first saw Rich for a second opinion on my own plantar fasciitis and he quickly figured out what was actually going on - in my case, tendonitis.

    This eventually led to surgery and again I got a second opinion before going under the knife. This helped me understand my choices, figure out how aggressive the surgery should be and who should do it.

    Rich has been great all along in overseeing my care and helping me understand my options. Thanks, Rich!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.