Shared Decision Making in Orthopaedics

Alexandra E. Page, MD, and Ben Moulton, JD, MPH

The process of shared decision making (SDM) helps physicians and patients move beyond passive informed consent to more collaborative, patient-centered experiences. By offering a balanced review of conservative and invasive treatment options, including the option of observation only, SDM provides patients an opportunity to express their personal values and goals in the context of health decisions.

As orthopaedic surgeons, we use a careful history, exam, and imaging or other studies to build a case for our recommendations, based on our own perspectives. By engaging patients through SDM, we are able to more fully incorporate patient values and perspectives.

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