Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You may be referred to a doctor who specializes in disorders of the joints (rheumatologist) or to an orthopedic surgeon.

What you can do

  • Write down your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason why you scheduled the appointment.
  • Write down your key medical information, including other conditions and any history of injury to the painful joint.
  • Write down key personal information, including any major changes or stressors in your life.
  • Make a list of all your medications, vitamins or supplements.
  • Ask a relative or friend to accompany you, to help you remember what the doctor says.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • What treatments are available?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?

In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may make time to go over points you want to discuss in-depth. You may be asked:

  • Where exactly does it hurt?
  • How long have you had this pain?
  • Does any particular joint position make the pain better or worse?
  • Have you ever taken steroids, such as prednisone?
  • How much alcohol do you drink?
Mar. 21, 2015

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