Frequently Asked Questions
Questions frequently asked by MUSC Sports Medicine Patients:
- What do I need to bring to my appointment?
- Where do I go to get a MRI?
- Can I pick the date of my surgery?
- How long should I plan to be out of work/school?
- Will my doctor perform the surgery or a medical resident?
- Is there anything I should do the day before the surgery?
- Is there anything special I should do on the day of the surgery?
A: First, many times x-rays will be taken for new patients, and these will be done at the beginning of the appointment prior to seeing the doctor. Also, the new patient paperwork will need to be completed prior to seeing the doctor. For these reasons, please arrive approximately 15 minutes earlier than the scheduled appointment time.
If you have previously seen another physician or had radiology studies, such as x-rays or an MRI, please try to obtain these studies (the report and the actual films or CD), office records, and operative notes and bring them to your appointment.
Please wear clothing that will facilitate the examination. For example, if the patient has a knee injury or pain, he or she should wear or bring shorts to the appointment. Disposable shorts may be given to the patient if it appears that the patient’s clothing will limit the examination. Also, the patient may be asked to change into a gown for shoulder examinations.
Forms for return to sports, school excuses, and work excuses can be completed at the office. Please let the office staff know if these forms are needed.
Q: Where do I go to get a MRI?
A: The MRI will be scheduled according to the patient’s wishes as best possible. If it is a traditional MRI, it can most likely be done at MUSC's Main Hospital or Rutledge Tower both are located in downtown Charleston or in West Ashley at the MUSC Specialty Care - West Ashley office. If it is an MR arthrogram, it will most likely be done at MUSC's Main Hospital. The doctors request, although do not completely require, the test to be done at these facilities for several reasons. Most importantly, MUSC has two of the finest musculoskeletal radiologists in the area, Dr. Bill Conway and Dr. Tommy Pope, and they read all of the sports medicine x-rays and MRI’s. Also, it is often very difficult for the doctors to obtain the studies from an outlying radiology facility. If a patient chooses to go to another facility, he or she must obtain both the report and the actual study, on films or a CD, and bring it to the office at the time of the follow up visit.
A: MUSC makes every effort to schedule surgeries at a date that is most convenient for the patient. Many surgeries are almost always outpatient surgeries, meaning that the patient is not admitted to the hospital and goes home the same day. In most instances, these can be scheduled within 1-2 weeks if necessary. Please choose a date that works best for school, work, and family. For instance, high school and college athletes often pick dates around school vacations, such as spring break or winter break. If such a date is desired, it is often necessary to pick these dates well ahead of the anticipated date. If there is a time that works best for work or family members who will be assisting the patient at home, staff will do their best to facilitate these scheduling requests.
A: Typically, high school and college students have surgery in the middle of the week, take the end of the week and weekend off, and go back to school the following Monday. Sometimes larger surgeries, such as rotator cuff tears in adults, lead to 1-2 weeks out of work. The nature of the job often plays a role in the amount of time out of work. Patients with jobs involving mainly desk duties may return to work sooner than those with more active duties. Your physician will explain the restrictions on activity prior to surgery, and use these restrictions to help pick a date.
A: MUSC is a teaching hospital, and while medical students and/or residents may observe the procedure, your physician will be the one operating on you with assistance from the entire Operating Room team.
A: The patient will be contacted by a member of the Sports Medicine team as well as the surgery center the day before the surgery. If there are questions about what time to arrive or where to go to check in, these questions will be answered at this time. The patient should not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery. If medications are needed the morning of surgery, they most likely can be taken with a sip of water, but please check with the surgery center to make sure that this is okay.
A: There are several points to keep in mind to make the experience an easy and pleasant one.
- Please wear loose fitting clothing to make it easier to get these clothes back on after surgery. The arm or leg may be difficult to move or have a large bandage or brace, and tight-fitting clothing can be hard to get on.
- Please do not wear any jewelry on the day of surgery.
- It is required that the patient has a ride home already arranged, and it is recommended to have the patient bring a friend or family member to be with the patient before and after surgery.
- Your doctor will talk to the patient and family the morning of surgery in the preoperative holding area. If there are any questions, please ask them at this time.