Things to think about before your visit:
1- History of the problem: what are your symptoms (pain, swelling, catching, locking, instability, etc.); what makes them worse/better; any injury; prior treatments including meds, therapy, injections, surgery; any prior similar problems. Organize your thoughts to tell your story of your problem clearly and succinctly. Bring notes if you like.
2- Bring a list of your medications, allergies and reactions.
3- You will be asked about your medical history in great detail. This is redundant, but very important. We do not take attention to detail lightly, and we will ask you about changes to your medical history at each visit.
4- Bring shorts for a hip/knee/leg/ankle/foot problem for the physical exam. Bring a gown or tank-top for shoulder,arm exam.
5- Bring your X-rays, MRI, CT-scan, etc. pertinent to the problem. A CD disk is fine. Check them carefully and make sure they are yours. This is your responsibility, not your doctors'. If you do not bring them, we may have to bring you back for a second appt. or repeat the studies. I like to see the pictures, and I do not rely on the written reports.
6- ONE VISIT = ONE PROBLEM. It is not fair to those waiting for their appt. to be delayed by others asking to be seen for several problems, which takes more time. It also allows us to FOCUS on one thing at a time and do a better job.
7- You will have time to ask questions.
8- You should leave with some idea of your DIAGNOSIS and TREATMENT PLAN.
I look forward to our visit! -DW
(defined as any problem for which you have already seen an orthopedist)