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What to Expect

Find out what to expect before and during your first appointment, as well as recovery.


Before your first visit, your doctor will review your medical history and talk with your referring doctor, athletic trainer and/or coach about the events surrounding your injury.

At your first visit, your doctor will discuss your injury with you, share what they have learned about your injury and medical history, conduct a physical exam and make a diagnosis. Imaging, such as X-ray, MRI or CT scans, may be necessary to confirm diagnosis and to help inform your treatment plan.

Some of the questions we consider as we devise a treatment approach include:

  • Is your injury preventing you from participating in your activity or sport?
  • If not, can you continue to participate in your activity or sport in a healthy and safe way as you receive treatment?
  • Can you complete the season in a healthy and safe way?
  • Is the injury at risk of becoming worse if you were to continue to participate in your activity? 

We may also consult with other Mass General Brigham clinicians and specialists to leverage the breadth and depth of our experience and research. This will further ensure a complete and comprehensive understanding of your condition and all available and appropriate treatment options.

Based on your unique case, your doctor will discuss a range of treatment options with you along with the attendant risks and benefits. Your treatment and rehabilitation plan will ultimately be set by you and will reflect your personal goals for recovery.

What to expect during recovery

The timeline for recovery is unique to you and your specific condition. At Mass General Brigham, our goal is to evaluate you early to ensure the quickest safe return to full activity.

With many of our patients, physical therapy is an integral part of the recovery plan. Regular exercise under the supervision of a physical therapist can help to improve your strength, mobility, flexibility and endurance and ensure the surgery's success. Your surgeon will communicate with you and your physical therapist regularly to ensure that you are progressing as expected in your recovery.

If medication is recommended to support pain management or prevent blood clots following surgery, you will receive clear instructions from your doctor on how to take the prescribed medication and for how long you will require it.

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