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January 07, 2002

Some people might say this is overly cautious. We say in surgery, there’s no such thing.

It's rare and preventable-when a surgical procedure is performed on the wrong knee, shoulder, or hip.

Several medical groups have come forward with ideas for eliminating these incidents entirely. One method calls for patients to watch and confirm as surgeons sign their initials with a permanent marker on the site requiring the operation. Perhaps this routine seems unnecessary and simplistic. We say, if it can prevent just one mistake with one future patient-it's s step worth taking. For more ways of partnering with your physician to maximize your surgical outcome, contact the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. To learn more, visit

The most moving advances in medicine.

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