How To Identify An Athletically-Empathic Surgeon.

I’m lucky to live in Salt Lake City. There are 10 ski resorts nearby, and there are opportunities for an active lifestyle year-round. Because of that, there are many top surgeons here who put athletes back together when they get injured or need replacement parts.

Correspondent Harriet Wallis chose Dr. Beck for many reasons. Credit: Harriet Wallis
Correspondent Harriet Wallis chose Dr. Beck from Salt Lake City for many reasons that made sense to her.
Credit: Harriet Wallis

But when I needed to have my knees replaced, I wanted to choose the right doctor for me. My list of questions helped me differentiate between the five surgeons I interviewed. Here’s the essence of just three of my questions and how the doctors’ answers focused my decision.

Do my knees need to be replaced? When?

            Doctor X: Yes, they need replaced — when you’re ready.

Doctor Beck: When the quality of your life is gone, and you can’t do the things you want to do, it’s time. Do it while you’re still active enough to get the best outcome and get back to the things you want to do.

What’s your surgery technique?

            Doctor Y said: I do the surgery this way. I do it this way all the time. I never vary from doing it this way.

Doctor Beck said: This is what I plan to do. But when I get into your knee I might find something that doesn’t show up on the x-rays and I’ll have to take care of it — but “I don’t want to hurt you any more than I have to.”

Can I ski?

            Doctor Z said: I wouldn’t ski anymore.

Doctor Beck said: “You’re darn tootin’ you can ski!” Pick good snow days, take some breaks, and you probably should stay out of the moguls.

For many reasons, this was the right surgeon for me.

         Good luck finding the right surgeon for you.

Editor’s Note: This is a 5-part series in which SeniorsSkiing’s correspondent Harriet Wallis describes her knee replacement journey with tips to guide you if you’re anticipating knee replacement. Part 1: Inspired by a ski patroller with artificial knees. Part 2: Research 101 – why and how to do it.  Part 3: Interviewing the docs.  Upcoming Part 5: Rehab and why to love it.

One Comment

  1. Dr C Beck is the surgeon for knee related issues; he did both my ACLs and I am still kickin’.
    I hope Dr Beck is still practising when time comes for my knee replacement…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *