Q: How is Real Surgery information different than what I can get for free on other healthcare sites?

A: If you’ve spent time looking for information about any surgery, in this case about surgery for a torn meniscus, you will have noticed that many websites seem to say the same thing or at least very similar. As a patient, this means you’re limited to fairly undifferentiated information no matter where you go. This is one reason why most of it is free. The Meniscus Surgery Insider’s Report is different. Real Surgery begins with primary research gathered through in-depth interviews and surveys conducted among prior patients and current physicians. You get numerous first-hand stories from meniscus tear patients and candid, off-the-record opinions from orthopaedic and sports medicine surgeons. This information is unlike what you’ll find on other sites because it’s proprietary and first-hand. It shows the real opinions of both doctors and patients.

Q: Why do I need to pay for this information?

A: Conducting primary research costs money.  The Meniscus Surgery Insider’s Report requires a fee because Real Surgery information is built from primary interviews.  We don’t recycle the same boilerplate information on torn meniscus that other websites have.  And we don’t just host an unstructured patient or physician bulletin board.  Instead we obtain extensive and in depth feedback using highly targeted probing questions.  Free medical websites sell ad space to companies that are trying to sell things to consumers (you).  We charge a nominal flat fee to access this valuable research information, which receives undivided attention on this website.  Any elective surgery, for a knee meniscus tear or otherwise, could also cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars after insurance, and that doesn’t count the seriousness of the medical decision and its impact on your body.  The cost of the Meniscus Surgery Insider’s Report is modest, about what some patients pay just as a co-pay for a single office visit with a medical specialist.  Put another way, it costs less than a date night at the movies.

Q: How did you interview physicians about meniscectomy and meniscus repair?

A: When we talk to surgeons, we have lengthy discussions to explore their views.  Many patients may not realize that surgeons don’t always agree about questions such as when surgery should occur or what kind of procedure a patient should get.  Superficial surveys are insufficient for what we want to understand.  We conduct physician interviews one-on-one, and each interview averages half an hour to 45 minutes in length.  Some last as long as an hour or more.  We probe deeply to understand the views of each physician.  Importantly, we also look for patterns across physicians, and we include physicians throughout the United States.  This means you get the benefit of both depth and breadth in the physician insight.  During our interviews, we assure surgeons of anonymity, so they are willing to speak candidly and openly, in this case about the use of meniscectomy and meniscus repair.  They can set aside the understandable caution they might have if one patient were speaking to them directly about one particular torn meniscus case. This means you get the straight story, real opinions and not just the party line. The frank physician quotes you see in the Meniscus Surgery Insider’s Report are taken directly from our interviews with surgeons and primary care physicians.  Real Surgery research includes only board-certified physicians: for surgeons, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons or similar; for primary care, physicians board-certified in internal medicine or family practice with membership in the American Board of Family Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine, or similar.

Q: How do you gather patient feedback?

A: Real Surgery interviews patients of all ages and from all geographic regions of the country.  Before getting a patient’s input, we use a one-on-one screening process to ensure the authenticity of the feedback we will get.  Then we use a combination of online surveys and, when appropriate, one-on-one interviews to collect information from patients.  In the case of the Meniscus Surgery Insider’s Report, we particularly focused on patient feedback about partial meniscectomy, since it is so common, as well as meniscus repair.  We confidentially gathered certain information like age to look for patterns about satisfaction.  We also had to group each patient according to whether he or she had the knee meniscus surgery by itself or whether it was done in combination with some other procedure such as ACL.

Q: How can I be included in your patient research for meniscus surgery or some other surgery?

A: Real Surgery is actively conducting research across a wide variety of surgical procedures.  If your experience is with knee meniscus, we could incorporate your information on updates to the Meniscus Surgery Insider’s Report.  Or if your experience is with another surgical procedure altogether, we could include you in existing or upcoming Insider’s Reports.  We would love to hear your story and your opinions.  To have your voice counted in this research, please contact us by clicking here.

Q: How should I use this information with my doctor?

A: We believe that well-informed patients are better able to make good decisions about their medical care. The Meniscus Surgery Insider’s Report help prospective meniscus tear surgical patients develop a clearer understanding of procedures they may be considering as well as what they may expect on a personal level before, during, and after the experience.  But the information on this website can provide only a background context about meniscus surgery, especially the opinions and feedback of other patients and doctors.  The information contained here is for your general information only. It is not a substitute for medical advice from a qualified and licensed medical professional. You must make your own decisions about your treatment with your own doctor.  While this site contains information regarding medical conditions including opinions of patients and doctors about surgical procedures, do not consider or use any of this information as a replacement for a medical opinion from a medical doctor. It cannot and does not suggest individual diagnoses or treatments and cannot be considered a doctor’s opinion about your situation. Contact your own physician with all questions about your health and treatment.

Q: How does Real Surgery information compare to scientific surveys or clinical papers published in medical journals?

A: The Meniscus Surgery Insider’s Report summarizes structured research into the opinions and experiences of patients and doctors.  Given that there are over 850,000 meniscectomy procedures conducted each year in the United States by thousands of surgeons, the samples in this report cannot statistically represent the whole population of patients or surgeons.  Nor are they intended to.  A typical prospective surgery patient is usually limited to input from one or two other patients (maybe zero) and one surgeon, sometimes two.  The intention of Real Surgery research is simply to improve upon this for patients.  We enthusiastically support the practice of scholarly peer review in medical research papers.  We reference several such papers in the Meniscus Surgery Report.  But our goal is more contained.  We aim to help today’s prospective surgery patients have access to better information than they can get presently, and we leave the important systematic development of evidence-based medicine to the proper scientific and medical community.

Q: How long does my user account work for the Meniscus Surgery Insider’s Report, and how long does my account remain active?

A: When you purchase full access to the Meniscus Surgery Insider’s Report, you will establish a user account using your email address.  You can choose your own password for log in security.  During your purchase you will choose whether you want your account to be active for 7 days or 30 days after you register.  If you need more time after your account expires you will have the option of extending access for an additional fee.

Q: Can my family or friends access this information so we can discuss it?

A: Yes. Your family or friends can access the Meniscus Surgery Insider’s Report using your user account and password.  When a patient is trying to decide what to do about surgery, the support of trusted friends can be particularly important.  So we hope you will share this information with your loved ones. 

Q: This website is focused on surgery for meniscus tear.  What other Insider’s Reports are published by Real Surgery?

A: If you are a patient facing an elective surgery, whether it’s for your knee, eye, shoulder, uterus, hernia, tonsils, spine, or gall bladder, you must make your own final choice about how and when to proceed, even as you make your choice with the support of your doctors or loved ones.  Real Surgery Inc. is a national medical information company based in California.  We are actively developing an extensive library of Insider’s Reports, similar to this report on surgery for a torn knee meniscus.  To see our current list of surgery reports or to be notified when a report you want is released, visit our company website at www.realsurgery.com