Finding the Right Doctor for Arthrocentesis

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Arthrocentesis is the medical term for removing fluid from a joint. If you plan to have arthrocentesis, you’ll want a highly qualified doctor to perform the procedure. Orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine doctors, and rheumatologists commonly perform arthrocentesis. How do you find the best doctor who is right for you? Here are important factors to keep in mind. 

Top Things to Look For

Find a doctor who:

  • Is board certified is his or her specialty and who specializes in joint problems
  • Has experience treating patients with your specific condition
  • Accepts your insurance
  • You are comfortable talking with and who fully answers your questions

Here are four steps to finding the best doctor to perform your arthrocentesis.

1. Ask Around

Start by creating a list of potential doctors. Ask your family, friends, and other healthcare providers for recommendations. If you’re starting without any referrals, or you’re looking for more options, search for doctors on Healthgrades.com. 

Healthgrades.com shows patient satisfaction ratings, which give you insight into how your own experience might be with the doctor. Patients rate the doctor and the doctor’s medical practice, and say if they would recommend the doctor to family and friends.

2. Research Credentials and Experience

Take time to research the doctors’ credentials and experience. Look for a doctor who is board certified in orthopedic surgery or his or her practicing specialty, and performs arthrocentesis on a regular basis. The more experience a doctor has treating your condition or performing arthrocentesis, the better prepared he or she is to anticipate and prevent complications. 

Also, confirm that the doctor is in good standing with state and federal agencies and that he or she has no history of malpractice claims or disciplinary actions. 

You’ll find all this information on Healthgrades.com.

3. Interview the Doctor

As you narrow down your list of doctors, call each doctor’s office and ask for a consult appointment to meet and interview the doctor. 

  • Ask yourself if you are comfortable talking with the doctor. 
  • Does he or she respect your opinions and answer your questions in a way you understand? 

Here are some questions to ask the doctor:

  • Do you typically treat patients like me?
  • How many arthrocentesis procedures have you performed?
  • What results do you usually see? 
  • How frequently do you encounter complications? 
  • What do you do to avoid complications or correct them if they occur?

4. Determine Your Insurance Benefit 

Your insurance coverage is a practical matter. To receive the most insurance benefits and pay the least out-of-pocket for your procedure, you need to choose a doctor who participates in your plan. 

But keep in mind, just because a doctor participates in your insurance plan doesn’t mean he or she is a high-quality doctor. You still need to consider the doctor’s experience and expertise.

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2020 Aug 2
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