Five Questions to Ask Your Prospective Orthopedic Surgeon
1. How many surgeries of this type do you perform each year?
An orthopedic surgeon who performs a very high number of the type surgery you require has created tried and true systems and teams. Surgery often goes smoother and takes less time. This is important because there will be less chance of wound contamination when an incision is open to the environment for less time. If a surgery moves along faster, your leg will be in awkward positions for less time. This may result in a lower incidence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT), which is a condition in which a blood clot forms in a vein that is deep inside the body.
Please be aware that moving along efficiently does not equate to rushing.
Most importantly, a surgeon who performs a high number of surgeries may see nuances and be able to handle the unexpected more aptly than a surgeon who is not as experienced.
Dr. Leone’s practice is limited exclusively to hip and knee replacement surgery. He has been repairing more than 500 to 600 joints consistently per year over the past ten years.
2. What is your infection rate?
An infection after a total joint replacement is a very big deal and must be prevented. If the infection is deep or below the fascia, then the artificial joint is also infected. Further surgery will be needed, and very possibly, the prosthetic joint will need to be removed. The infection will be treated with antibiotics, and hopefully, a new joint can be re-implanted with yet another surgery if the infection is cured.
Premier, a company that collects and compares health care data, found that from October 2007 (which is the earliest date we began receiving this data from Premier) through December 2010, Dr. Leone’s patients who had surgery experienced fewer complications and readmissions and had less than the average length of stay in the hospital and costs than other specialty peer orthopedic doctors.
3. What is your incidence of short-term complications? (i.e. dislocations, wound problems, blood clots, or need for manipulation)?
Dr. Leone’s incidence of all these complications has been remarkably low.
Together, Dr. Leone, a respected surgeon and clinician, with Holy Cross Hospital, named “One of America’s Best Hospitals for Orthopedics” by U.S. NEWS & World Report in 2008 and 2009, provide a reputable setting for hip and knee surgery. Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., a health care research firm named Dr. Leone one of Florida’s “Top Orthopedic Surgeon” for four consecutive years, from 2010 – 2014.
Dr. Leone attributes much of this to his hands-on approach and attention to detail. All surgeries are preformed personally by him. His teams – both in the operating room and out – are mature and stable, and many members of these teams have worked with Dr. Leone for nearly his entire 23-year career.
4. What is your incidence of long-term complications (i.e. infection, loosening, prosthesis breakage, leg length inequality, residual limp, or nerve damage)?
Dr. Leone has built his reputation by his patients referring their family and friends over past twenty years. He has remained at one location in one hospital perfecting his abilities and results over this period. Premier has now formally recognized and published his superior results. Holy Cross Hospital has garnered rewards. He has been honored with rewards including Castle Connolly Ltd., a health care research firm that named Dr. Leone one of Florida’s “Top Orthopedic Surgeons” for eight consecutive years, from 2010 – 2017. Most importantly, patient after patient have encouraged people who they care about to come and see Dr. Leone.
Low infection rates, minimal complications, and successful outcomes are more assured by Dr. Leone’s techniques, including:
· Laminar flow operating theaters and the isolation of the surgical team via body exhaust suits.
· Special surgical closure and dressings resulting in a better sealed wound. This also results in a “plastic surgery” closure.
· Surgical techniques to specifically address optimal and gentle soft tissue handling and balancing in hip and knee replacement using a pelvic alignment level instrument invented by Dr. Leone, robotics, and computer navigation.
· Dr. Leone’s surgical teams which have worked together for years, thereby greatly improving the safety and efficiencies of the procedure.
5. How long have you used your current prosthesis, and what are your reasons for having selected it?
To get the best and most reproducible results from any system or prosthesis, it must be used and studied repeatedly. Change is appropriate when it truly improves and can be shown to be safe and long lasting. When Dr. Leone places a particular prosthesis in a patient’s hip or knee, he knows from personal experience that it has had a great track record.