When an unexpected diagnosis or treatment recommendation leaves you questioning whether your orthopedic doctor’s recommendation is the best direction for your health, getting a second opinion can set your mind at ease as well as prevent you from taking the wrong path toward healing.
The purpose of getting an orthopedic second opinion is not to prove your current doctor “wrong.” In fact, many second opinions often mirror the diagnosis and recommendations of the original orthopedic specialist. The purpose of a second opinion is to provide clarity on your diagnosis and greater certainty on the right course of treatment.
Should I get a second opinion on orthopedic surgery or treatment?
If your doctor has recommended an orthopedic surgery to treat your ongoing pain or range of motion issues, it’s a good idea to get a second opinion. It’s estimated that around 30 percent of surgeries can be avoided with a proper diagnosis.
The reality is that at times medicine can be an art and not a science. As such, different doctors may prefer different methods for treating a certain condition. Doctors may also interpret the same set of symptoms in different ways which may lead to divergent diagnoses. At BICMD we provide access to the nation’s leading musculoskeletal experts in order to provide the peace of mind needed with a diagnosis or recommended path of care.
If you’re happy with your current doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan, you may not need to get a second opinion. But if your doctor is recommending treatment that’s invasive, risky, or has lifelong consequences, it’s worthwhile to schedule time with a different orthopedic specialist to ensure that surgery is truly the best treatment. Many times, non-surgical and non-invasive methods can be utilized to treat many conditions instead of surgery.
Where to get an orthopedic second opinion
If you’re facing a decision about orthopedic care, it’s important that your second opinion comes from a specialized orthopedic specialist or surgeon. Only a specialist can offer you an expert, informed orthopedic opinion. It’s important that you choose a specialist that deeply understands your issue and can offer additional insight, treatment options or possibly a different diagnosis. Only a specialist can do that.
To find a qualified orthopedic specialist to provide a second opinion, you may want to ask family and friends for recommendations of orthopedists they have seen personally and who provided excellent care. You can also turn to BICMD to find a best in class orthopedic specialist to meet with via telehealth at a time convenient to you. Our goal is to remove the guesswork out of identifying the best musculoskeletal experts around the country and in your locale. In fact second opinions are highly appropriate to a virtual visit as the necessary diagnostic studies and work ups have already been done. The majority of orthopedic diagnoses can be made and treatments formulated based on imaging studies and clinical history. Given that, an in person encounter is often not needed.
Will my insurance cover a second opinion?
That’s a question only your insurance company can answer. Some medical insurance companies actually require a second opinion prior to covering a surgery. BICMD does not participate in insurance and the cost of the second opinion is an out of pocket cost. Given the associated peace of mind of a second opinion, our prices are reasonable and comparable to other second opinion companies. You can create a profile at www.bicmd.com to explore orthopedic experts in our network.
Do I have to go into an office to get a second opinion?
Getting an original diagnosis for an orthopedic condition can be a time-consuming process the first time, and many people don’t look forward to going through the process all over again.
Our patients really appreciate the convenience of our online telehealth orthopedic second opinions. When you make an appointment to get a second opinion from one of our orthopedic specialists, your provider will assess your condition by looking over all of the previous tests, x-rays, MRIs, and doctors’ notes from your current provider. In some cases, we may request that you have additional tests done before your appointment if our providers deem them necessary to make an informed, accurate diagnosis.
After carefully reviewing all of your medical records, your orthopedic specialist will meet with you via your smartphone, laptop or tablet for a face-to-face virtual appointment that provides all the trusted orthopedic care of an in-office appointment in a much more convenient format. You can get your orthopedic second opinion in your home, on your lunch break, or while sitting in the stands during your child’s soccer practice. Our hand-picked network of orthopedic specialists are located all over the United States, in every time zone. So whatever time of day is convenient for you, there is a leading orthopedic provider available to provide you with the orthopedic second opinion you need. If you’d like to schedule an appointment to get a second opinion via our telehealth system, click here now.
What if my orthopedic second opinion is different from the first diagnosis?
It’s not uncommon for two doctors to differ on their opinions as far as treatment, diagnosis, and recommendations. If your second orthopedic opinion varies from the first, there are several ways to make the ultimate decision about your treatment.
First of all, you can go back to your first doctor and discuss the second opinion. Your doctor may have a good reason that he or she did not recommend the treatment in the second opinion. You can even seek out a doctor for a third opinion if you so desire.
If your treatment recommendations from each doctor vary, you may want to research each treatment in depth and come to a conclusion about which one better fits your life. Adherence to a treatment schedule and routine is of the utmost importance in achieving maximum healing. If one provider is suggesting a treatment plan that you do not believe you’ll be able to stick with, it may be the right option to choose the other one.
Whatever method you choose to come to your ultimate decision, remember, you are the one in charge of your health. Make sure you feel confident in your decision.
Questions to ask at your orthopedic second opinion appointment
The purpose of your orthopedic second opinion appointment is to get clarity on your diagnosis and another viewpoint on the proper course of treatment. Asking the right questions can help you get both. To make the most of your orthopedic second opinion appointment, here are some questions to ask your provider:
- Is there a different diagnosis that would fit my symptoms and test results?
- Would additional testing help to clarify my diagnosis?
- Would you recommend a different procedure or treatment than my other doctor? Why or why not?
- How many patients have you treated with my condition?
Ready to get the second opinion you need?
Schedule your appointment with a BICMD orthopedic specialist today by clicking here.