Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Who Should Fix My Fracture? (Part 2 of 2)


In the last post, we talked about differences in training that different doctors receive. Many doctors go to a weekend course to learn the procedure--and they may have never actually treated a live patient before they operate on you or a loved one. So, it's important to check their credentials out.

In this post, we'll talk about how ongoing experience affects performance with doctors. We'll also include a list of questions that you may find useful to ask your physician.

Ongoing Experience

There are variable amounts of experience for fracture care. Some doctors read articles in medical journals about these procedures. Others write those articles. Some doctors try out new procedures to fix the fractures. Others are involved in the research and development stage before these procedures are available for most doctors to 'try out'.

For example, in the Tulsa metropolitan area, there are at least 15 doctors who are trained to perform these procedures. That may sound like a lot, but several only trained and rare perform the procedure. The majority may do 1 or 2 cases per month. Out of those doctors, there are probably only three or four of us who treat 10 or more cases a month consistently.


Although we would be delighted to help everyone with their fractures, we realize not everyone can travel to Oklahoma to have their VCF fixed.

As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a physician for VCF treatment. So, to help, here is a list of questions to ask your doctor to help you decide.

1. What kind of training did you receive to treat these fractures?

2. How many fractures have you treated?

3. How many fractures do you treat per month?

4. When was the last fracture you treated?

5. What is your success rate at treating fractures?

6. Have you ever had any serious complications with a patient?

7. Do you test for and treat underlying conditions (such as osteoporosis)?

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