Trauma Survivors Network - provided by ATS

Survive. Connect. Rebuild.

A Program of the ATS

Questions for the Doctor

General Questions:

  • What is my diagnosis?
  • What can be done to help me?
  • How long will my recovery be?
  • What is the treatment(s) for my injury?
  • When will the treatment(s) start, and how long will it last?
  • What are the benefits of this treatment, and how successful is it?
  • How will this diagnosis (condition) affect my life?


    About the Surgical Procedure:

  • Why is this procedure being recommended? Are there alternatives?
  • What are the benefits of this procedure in terms of pain relief, functioning/mobility? How long will the benefit last?
  • What are the risks involved?
  • What is the success rate for this procedure?
  • What is the procedure called? How is it done?
  • Will the surgery need to be repeated after a certain amount of time?
  • What percentage of patients improve following the procedure?
  • Will my doctor perform the operation or someone else? If someone else, when can I meet him or her? Is the doctor board-certified?
  • Will I need any tests or medical evaluations prior to the surgery?
  • What kind of anesthesia will be used? Are there possible after effects or risks? Will I meet with the anesthesiologist in advance? Will he or she know my needs/allergies?
  • What kind of implant or prosthesis will be used? What are the outcomes using this device? How long will it last?
  • Will I have pain following the procedure? What pain relief or pain control measures will I be given?
  • How long will the recovery take? What are my limitations during recovery? Will I need assistance at home afterwards and for how long?
  • Will I have any disability following surgery? Will I need physical therapy?
  • When can I return to work? When can I drive my car? When can I have sexual activity?
  • Are there any written materials or videotapes about this surgery that I can review?


    About Other Medical Tests:

  • What kinds of tests will I have?
  • What do you expect to find out from these tests?
  • When will I know the results?
  • Do I have to do anything special to prepare for any of the tests?
  • Do these tests have any side effects or risks?
  • Will I need more tests later?


    About Medications:

  • What are the brand and generic names of my medications? What is the medicine for?
  • How long do I have to take the medication? How many times a day and at what intervals? How many pills or doses, whether before, with, or after meals and, what should I do if I miss one?
  • Are there any foods that may interfere with the action of my prescribed medications?
  • What are the side effects of the drugs, and what should I do if any of the side effects appear?
  • Are there any medications or drugs which I should avoid because they might interfere or adversely react with the prescribed and/or recommended medications?
  • How soon after taking the medication should I start feeling better?


    At Discharge From The Hospital:

  • When do I see the doctor again?
  • What are the dates and times of my home health care visits?
  • Do I continue taking my same medication?
  • What do I do about bandages?
  • When is bathing permitted?
  • When is it ok to be alone in the house?
  • When can I drive?
  • When can I start full weight bearing on my injured leg?
  • How long will I be using my assistive device for walking?
  • How long will I be taking my medication?