Dr. O'Connor shares advice for women who are afraid to have knee replacement surgery.
First of all, I think it’s fabulous that the woman says, “Doctor, I am afraid,” because by telling me that she is afraid, because it’s normal to be afraid, we can then discuss this, and I can say, “Okay, I understand that you are afraid. I would be afraid too, but are there certain reasons why you are afraid? Let’s talk about have you had an experience with surgery in the past that wasn’t good, and why was that? Did your mother have a bad experience with joint replacement surgery?”
I mean, oftentimes there’s underlying reasons that are promoting that fear, and if we can have a dialogue and discuss those reasons, then we can do a lot to decrease the normal fear and anxiety that comes with the procedure. And I think it’s really important that the patient be comfortable with the doctor to have that kind of dialogue, because it’s normal to be afraid. But what I don’t want is, I don’t want fear out of proportion to what’s reasonable, crippling a decision that would help the patient.
About Dr. O'Connor, M.D.:
Dr. Mary O'Connor, M.D., was accepted as a resident in orthopedic surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, New York in 1985. She joined the orthopedic surgery staff at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida in 1991, and since 2005 has served as department chair. Dr. O'Connor cares for people with hip and knee arthritis, failed joint replacements, and pelvic tumors.