Knee replacement caution

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While replacement surgery can be a good option, it is not without risk. There can be serious complications. (KFSN)

Millions of Americans are currently living with hip and knee replacements. While replacement surgery can be a good option, it is not without risk. There can be serious complications.

Consumer Reports took a close look at hundreds of hospitals to see how well patients did following knee-replacement surgery in California. It looked at rates of infections, complications, and readmissions, and found that Fresno did well. For example, Fresno Surgical hospital did 78 percent better than the national average for knee infections.

Consumer Reports says that you can increase your chance of successful surgery by making sure you get a good surgeon. First you want to make sure he or she is board-certified in orthopedic surgery. And then ask whether their hospital tracks outcomes like infections and readmissions, and whether they track long-term patient outcomes.

Consumer Reports and the California Department of Insurance have created an online tool to help you check out hospitals in the Fresno area. You'll find ratings for knee and hip replacements as well as for childbirth. You can also search doctor groups for their cancer-screening ratings and how well they treat diabetes and back pain. You can find the tool at CaliforniaHealthcareCompare.org.
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