What to Expect at Your First Appointment
When new patients schedule their first appointment with the Oklahoma Shoulder Center for shoulder or elbow pain, they often ask what to bring with them and what to expect at the appointment. We also frequently get asked if a referral is necessary. Most patients do not require a referral from a primary care physician and can simply call our office to schedule an appointment. Some insurance programs, such as TRICARE, may require a referral, so check with your insurance company to be sure.
Our new patient paperwork is available online through our Patient Portal
. We can also mail it in advance, or patients are welcome to arrive early for their first appointment and complete the paperwork in our comfortable welcome room. Please bring a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you take, including how much and how often you take them.
If you have any of the following records, please bring both the images and the radiology report:
• CT scan
• Operative reports from prior surgeries
Radiology reports and operative reports can be faxed directly to our office at 405.290.7388. For imaging records, please bring a CD of the images with you to our office. For patients who haven’t had x-rays or other imaging done, we will take x-rays in our office during your appointment. If additional imaging is required, such as an MRI or CT scan, Dr. Nolan will order those tests after your appointment.
We recommend that patients dress in layers with a tank top or sleeveless top so that the shoulder or elbow can be easily examined. We want all of our patients to be comfortable during their initial exam, so we also have gowns available if needed. You are welcome to bring a family member into the exam room with you. We have extra chairs available for them, and we value the role that family members may play in your decision process regarding treatment options.
Dr. Nolan will review any imaging records and radiology reports and may take additional x-rays in the office. She will also sit and talk with you about your shoulder or elbow problems, what level of pain (if any) you are experiencing, and how long the problems have been occurring. She will also talk with you about injuries or activities that may have contributed to your current condition, as well as what activities you hope to return to following treatment. It’s also important to know what other treatment you have tried — such as physical therapy, injections, other surgeries, chiropractic care, massage, acupuncture, or other therapies — and whether they provided any relief and for how long.
After reviewing your medical history, imaging records, and your current shoulder or elbow issue, Dr. Nolan will perform a physical exam with special tests relevant to the problem you are experiencing. While the physical exam does require moving the shoulder or elbow, it’s not typically a painful physical exam.
Depending on your specific situation, Dr. Nolan may or may not discuss cortisone injections. If needed, a cortisone injection can be done with a local anesthetic in the office. Please note that outside of cortisone injections, the Oklahoma Shoulder Center does not dispense medications on site.
At the conclusion of your physical exam, Dr. Nolan will discuss next steps with you. Some patients may require additional studies, such as an MRI or CT scan, ultrasound, or blood work before a decision can be made about treatment. Physical or occupational therapy may be recommended for some patients, while surgery may be recommended for others.
At Oklahoma Shoulder Center, we value open conversations with our patients. If you have any questions during or after your visit, we encourage you to ask.
By Oklahoma Shoulder Center PLLC
November 18, 2016