Advise to Patient
First and foremost, choose a surgeon with whom you feel comfortable.
Be sure that your surgeon is Board certified by the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. The ABOS is the only Orthopaedic Board that is certified by the National Certification Boards. Other boards have been created by those who are unable or unwilling to stand up to the rigors of the ABOS testing.
Do not hesitate to ask the surgeon about his experience in performing total joint surgery. Dr. Clyburn recommends that you choose a surgeon who specializes in total joint replacement. He believes that if a surgeon does 50 or more total knees and 50 or more total hips per year, that he or she is proficient in performing these procedures.
Make sure you understand exactly what is recommended and what will be done. If you are not clear, ask. If the doctor does not explain it to you, find another doctor.
Finally, if the doctor specializes in total joint surgery and has a successful practice, then generally this means that he or she has obtained excellent results. It means that he or she understands and is proficient in performing these procedures with the implants that he or she has become familiar with. In other words, choose your surgeon carefully and let your surgeon advice you as to the best implant for you. Dr. Clyburn believes that it is unwise for the patient to read or see marketing materials and demand that that particular implant be used. He has seen examples where patients demanded that the procedure using the unispacer be done (even though when at the table, he didn't believe that the procedure was useful), and they returned to him later only to have had a failure. Repairing of this failure is difficult and does not have the same good results as the original surgery would otherwise have had.
In addition, Dr. Clyburn has seen patients who read advertising about the Sulzer total hip which was advertised to "last forever, guaranteed." In these instances, this implant was recalled, and the company was forced to sell due to multiple lawsuits. Many of the patients who had this implant (which again was guaranteed for life), had it removed, and Dr. Clyburn had to remove and replace several of them although he never used one primarily. If you rely on advertising and the internet, you may be misled.