In many ways, your life gets deeper and more enriching as you age. You read new books, connect with a larger number of interesting people, and engage in a wealth of new experiences. Those experiences, however, can take a physical toll on you. Put enough stress on your musculoskeletal system over time, and you can find yourself dealing with conditions such as joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, or even spinal problems. This canhinder your ability tocontinue enjoying an active lifestyle without pain or discomfort.
Strenuous activity isn’t the only thing that causes such conditions, either. The fact is that as people get older, their bodies begin to wear down a bit. Furthermore, there’s no telling exactly when this kind of deterioration will make itself apparent. It’s determined by several factors including lifestyle choices and genetics. Still, many people seek out orthopedic pain relief every month. According to research by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, orthopedists in the United States alone perform an average of 29 procedures per month. With over 28,000 orthopedists on record at the time of the census, it’s clear that there’s a large demand for their services. That means there’s a good chance you’ll need to see an orthopedist at some point during your life, and when the time comes you’ll want to make sure that you choose the right practice.
So, what should you look for in an orthopedic practice? We’ve put together a quick list for you. Some practicesmanage to include all of these features, whereas others are sadly lacking (you can even check out Reader’s Digest for a list of information commonly withheld by surgical practices, which can help you identify red flags). For now, though, let’s look at what good orthopedic practices are supposed to include:
High Field MRI
Not all MRI scanners are created equal, so do a bit of research before you choose an orthopedist and make sure theirs is a High Field system. Many clinics have turned to low field or “open” MRI scanners, which are advertised as being more comfortable for the patient. However, low field scanners generally take longer and produce lower quality images. For this reason, it’s best to choose a practice with a high field scanner, which offers advanced imaging techniques.
This might seem like a luxury amenity to some readers, but it’s an important part of any quality orthopedic practice. Think about it: you want to have access to the equipment you’ll need to recover from surgery, right? Most people don’t even go to the gym regularly when they’re in perfect health. Imagine trying to go several times a week when you have reduced mobility after an operation. Choosing a practice with fitness equipment on hand makes it easier for you to perform your rehab exercises, and will help you recover effectively.
Outpatient Surgery Center
If you’re just going in for a quick operation, you’ll want to make sure the practice you choose has the facilities to accommodate you. Many surgeries are minimally invasive these days, and outpatient surgery centers are designed specifically for patients whose care does not require an overnight stay. Those of you requiring minor joint surgery (such as a partial meniscectomy or other kinds of arthroscopy) will want to choose a practice with one of these.
On Site Cafes or Restaurants
This is another one of those things that might seem superfluous at first, but which is quite important. If you’ve ever had surgery (especially leg surgery), you know how difficult it can be to get around afterward. You definitely don’t want to have to go far for coffee, tea, or a bite to eat. Comfort after an operation is an important part of staying stress-free during the first phase of your recovery. Look for a practice with a place you can sit down and refresh yourself nearby.
Off-site Outreach Clinics
If you need to go back for any kind of follow-up procedure, a practice with an outreach clinic near you can save you from a long, uncomfortable journey. Instead of travelling the full distance to the practice’s main facility, you’ll be able to visit a branch near you and have your business taken care of conveniently.
There are many practices out there, but you’ll have to choose wisely if you want effective orthopedic pain relief. Refer to this guide often when narrowing down your options, and you should be able to find the right practice without any trouble.