Dr. O'Connor recalls how women with hip arthritis can advocate for themselves at their doctor's office.
A woman can do lots of things to advocate for her arthritis of the hip, and I think the most important thing is to make sure that she understands and get, gets educated about her condition. So, one of the very best and easiest things to do is to make your list of questions before you ever see the doctor.
Come prepared with your list, “Doctor, what is my problem? How did I get it? What can I do about it? What does the future hold for my hip? Am I going to need surgery now or in the future? If I am going to need surgery, what’s that going to be like?”
And you know what, you don’t, the doctor doesn’t necessarily have to cover all that in great detail, but for example, I might say, “Let me give you some information about hip replacement surgery. I don’t think you are quite ready for that now.
“We are going to try some other things before we talk about surgery, but I think that in the future, that’s probably going to be something that you will need. And I am going to give you some information now for you to start reading about it, and we will talk more about that in the future.
“Right now, we are going to focus on non-surgical treatment, but I do think that at some point, you probably are going to need hip replacement surgery.” Because that way, we can communicate and form, I hope, an effective team, because it’s all about the patient and me being aligned, having the right goals, being in sync.
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.