Hip Preservation
Second Opinions

Hip Preservation Program Second Opinions

At the Cincinnati Children’s Hip Preservation Program, we recognize that choosing to undergo a major hip surgery is a big decision, whether it’s a choice you’re making for yourself or your child. You may want more than one expert’s opinion. Our team offers second opinions for the full spectrum of hip disorders, including congenital, developmental and post-traumatic. We treat patients from newborns to adults up to age 45.

Mary P. Pfiester, MPAS, PA-C.

Meet Our Second Opinion Coordinator

Mary P. Pfiester, MPAS, PA-C
Physician Assistant, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hip Preservation Program

Contact us online. 

Mary serves as our coordinator for second opinions. She’s here to answer your questions and help guide you to the right physician on our team based on your individual needs. Read her answers to questions most often received about second opinions for hip conditions.

What is the benefit of getting a second opinion?

Some hip surgeries — including full hip replacements, periacetabular osteotomy (PAO) and surgical hip dislocations — are complex procedures with long-term effects. We want you to have as much information as possible before you make such a big decision. Second opinions can offer the peace of mind that you’re looking for when choosing between surgical and non-surgical treatments.

Our program focuses on preserving the hip. That means we evaluate patients with a physical exam and imaging to see if we can prevent or delay the need for a hip replacement. Our physicians have expertise in hip conditions that start in childhood, develop later in life, or are a result of trauma. They perform surgeries that are not widely offered elsewhere. When you get an opinion from experts like ours, it can help to give you a full picture of the hip condition affecting your life.

How do you help families through getting a second opinion?

I’m the point person when it comes to second opinions. This includes:

  • Answering questions
  • Making appointments
  • Coordinating care. I help patients find the surgeon within our program who is the best fit for them. I also coordinate care with other departments within Cincinnati Children’s and with outside facilities if needed
  • Working with outpatient rehab centers. When patients travel to us for care, they often do their physical therapy close to home. We’ve developed a protocol for physical therapy that I share with therapists from out of town, so you get the appropriate therapy as you recover.
  • Seeing patients in clinic. I work with Patrick Whitlock, MD, PhD, and do the preoperative teaching and help get you ready for surgery.
  • Making referrals. If you’ve come here first for care, we can recommend other specialists outside of Cincinnati Children’s who you may want to see for a second opinion.

Do I need to bring anything with me?

We ask patients to please bring all prior imaging (MRI, CT, X-ray) from any outside facility with you on a disc when you come for your appointment.

My best advice for patients seeking a second opinion is to come prepared. Write down any questions you have so you don’t forget them once you’re here. Know what the goal of your visit is — whether it’s simply to gather more information, learn about a specific treatment option, or make a final decision on your or your child’s treatment.

We want you to get the most out of your appointment and get the best experience here. Coming in prepared will help us provide that for you.

How do I start the process for getting a second opinion?

Get in touch with me. Call, email, or use our online contact form, and I’ll get back to you within one to two business days. When we talk, I’ll ask you several questions about your or your child’s condition and diagnosis. We’ll talk through what specific information you’re looking for, and how we might be able to help. If you’re interested in setting up an appointment, I can help with that.

We provide second opinions in person, or we offer a consultative review where our hip preservation clinical committee will review your records and imaging and provide an evaluation remotely.

Can I get a second opinion without traveling to Cincinnati? 

Yes. Online second opinions are available to families and patients outside the Greater Cincinnati area (southwest Ohio, northern Kentucky and southeast Indiana). A specialist from the Hip Preservation Program will review your case and answer specific questions about a diagnosis or treatment options. It’s easy, convenient, and secure. Our case manager will collect your medical records and guide you through the process.

Online second opinions are different than telehealth video visits. Our physician reviews your existing medical records and focuses on the questions you already gave us. As a result, online second opinions don’t need a video or phone call. Your second opinion report includes our physician’s written opinion about that medical condition, diagnosis or treatment plan.

Online second opinions are typically not covered by insurance and cost $850. There may be additional fees if a radiology or pathology specialist needs to review your records. The program is not available in all areas or for every patient, we will work with you to make sure it’s appropriate for you.

Hip Care for Infants to Adults

Our Hip Preservation specialists offer coordinated care of hip problems in patients ranging in age from newborn up to 45 years old.

Patient stories.

Read stories of hope and inspiration from patients and families who were cared for by the Hip Preservation Program at Cincinnati Children's.

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