When choosing an orthopedic surgeon to perform your knee replacement surgery, start with your primary care physician, internist, or rheumatologist, who may give you one or more referrals. Ask family members and friends who may have had knee replacement surgery. You can also consult organizations such as the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, the certifying board for orthopedic surgeons in the United States. Try and find someone who is fellowship trained in joint replacement and a good resource to find an excellent surgeon would be through the AAHKS (American Association Hip and Knee Society).
Look for a surgeon who has performed many knee replacement surgeries, preferably one whose practice focuses on knee replacements. Research shows that complications are most likely to occur if the surgeon does less than 12 knee replacement surgeries per year or when the surgery is done in a hospital where less than 25 knee replacements are performed annually.
Talk to other patients who have undergone knee replacement surgery with the doctors you are considering. Meet with your choices so you can determine if you are comfortable with how he or she answers your questions and explains the procedure to you. When choosing an orthopedic surgeon you are also choosing the hospital: you want a facility that is used to taking care of knee replacement patients and that has good pain management and physical therapy programs.