"First visit to Orthopaedics about replacement hip"

About: Harrogate District Hospital

Visited Orthopaedics to ascertain whether I might need a joint replacement. All the support staff - nurses, radiology were great. Wasn't so impressed with the doctors. Lack of clarity about who would perform the operation. All the advice suggests that you should choose a surgeon who performs at least 50 specific joint operations per annum of the type you need replacing. However, if the operation is to be performed by a surgeon who is not a consultant there is no performance data available so the patient is flying blind. It isn't enough to know that the surgeon is a jack of all trades. With joint replacement the expertise of the surgeon is they critical factor which stands between the patient and eg ending up with one leg shorter than another . A second area of concern is the brand of prothesis that will be used. The advice is to choose something that has a track record and is a proven success over 7-10 years I was informed that the protheses to be used had been in use between 1 and 3 years and were produced by a Company that is the subject of lawsuits from patients in the USA. Hardly reassuring. So I was left feeling somewhat alarmed at the prospect of my joint replacement being carried out by an inexperienced surgeon using unproven protheses. It made me think that maybe I would need to opt for a private operation where I could choose the surgeon and know that the protheses being used were ODEP rated. The hospital might have been able to assuage my fears if it had been more upfront about who would actually carry out the operation and what their experience was of the particular operation I needed and if the hospital was upfront about why particular protheses were chosen other than because they were relatively cheap

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