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Continuing Medical Trauma

Lerwick8

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Greetings to all...

I was last on Bonesmart in 2017 when I had a hip replacement. I am now in dire need of a right TKR. My entire knee is bone-on-bone, torn meniscus and two Baker's cysts (one leaking into the knee)

I was going to see the same surgeon who did my hip in 2017; however, after two years of a very good/trusting doctor-patient relationship, everything headed south. Indeed, he even lives a block away from me so I know his kids,etc.

Apologies in advance for the lengthy background, but it might help to understand the circumstances:

Per the doctor in question: I have always had difficulties with his immediate staff in that I would never receive return phone calls from his medical assistant when I needed post-surgical advice. Indeed, my PCP had to call to get a response. Unfortunately, this became a constant problem even though I rarely called his office. Indeed, my PCP and her receptionist are both appalled at the lack of response from said doctor’s staff. Even, my dentist’s office failed to get a reply to numerous messages to inquire about dental prophylactic protocol. Suffice it to say, rightly, or wrongly, I began to take this lack of response personally.

I've experienced many medical traumas in my life from being given another patient’s IV while in hospital with pneumonia, to getting someone else’s surgical breast biopsy only to have to go through the surgery twice due to a physician’s carelessness, to a nurse not giving my pain meds after my hip replacement resulting in a setback for my recovery and an extra night in the hospital.

Doctor was going on vacation the day after my surgery (originally scheduled for 4/23) and leaving me in the care of his new PA, who I felt increasingly uncomfortable with. She had absolutely zero facial expression when I met with her for my pre-op and I was not sure that she was even listening to me when I expressed my concerns.

My friends began to worry about me as I expressed growing concern for my prospective post-surgical care, especially after my previous experiences (and rightly so!). They could see how anxious and uneasy I was.

When I expressed this in an email to said doctor, he retorted that his PA was very caring and thorough, but has an expressionless face (how am I supposed to know this). He then ‘fired’ me and offered referrals.

I emailed said doctor back expressing apologies for any misunderstanding and emphasizing that he was the only surgeon I trusted (at present at least). I received no reply! This led to me experiencing my worst medical trauma to date!!!

FYI...This doctor is listed on Bonesmart's "Surgeon Locator" list and I did try to leave a review but was denied. A quick phone conversation or a letter from him would have made a world of difference! But to completely ignore my last email says more about him than me! Definitely lowered my opinion of him as an ethical medical professional, no matter how good of a surgeon he might be!

Fast forward to today...I have met with a few other surgeons in the last 2 weeks and found one that came highly recommended by my PCP. I really liked him. The problem is that as he uses the Smith and Nephew Journey Two BCS custom knee (not the one that was recalled), it takes several weeks to make. His scheduler offered me a surgery date of July 1st.

I am in so much pain that I can barely walk, sleep, etc. I am beginning to slide into depression as my quality of life is so poor. Not sure I can wait for 2 more months!

Okay, so maybe I should have taken the 4/23 date, but I was so uncomfortable. Had the doctor in question not fired me, he could have fit me in in May. But as he has refused further treatment, here I am.

Any encouragement would mean the world to me right now!
 
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Jockette

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I’m sorry you’ve been treated so badly by this surgeon and his staff. I wouldn’t stay with him either.

When I scheduled my surgery I had a 3.5 month wait, it was the soonest appointment they could give me.

I don’t have any suggestions for you, just wanted to let you know I commiserate with you. :console2:
 

2tkr

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Your story with your surgeon and his nasty PA are scary familiar to my situation. I actually cancelled my 2nd post op, stating that from now on I would only work with 2 specific people. NOT that arrogant, condescending PA.

As for your July surgery, just do your best to rest, ice, compress and elevate whenever possible. Ibuprofen worked well for my pain, but it is not suitable for everyone.

I’m sorry for all of the unnecessary b.s. you’re going through. You’re not alone and you’re in my prayers.
 
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2tkr

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I suggested to jockett to look into the Mayo Clinic. Going there for another issue was the best decision I have ever made.
 
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Lerwick8

Lerwick8

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@2tkr ..Thank you for your reply! Luckily, my new surgeon does not have a PA, just a medical assistant who is very kind. He explained that he prefers to see his patients himself for every step of the TKR process. This, apart from his experience, is one of the reasons I really liked him.

Mayo Clinic is certainly reputable; however, I prefer to stay in SF where my friends and support are.

Thanks again!
 
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Lerwick8

Lerwick8

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P.S. I have a really hard time with NSAID's ...they really upset my stomach. Have been using Tylenol, but as the knee is so bad, it just barely takes the edge off. Also using BioFreeze gel and knee compression sleeve (and..ughh..a cane!).
 

Rick951

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@Lerwick8 Good luck on the wait! The time will pass. Having a surgeon you are comfortable with is worth the wait.
When I had my PKR done last October. I could have had what I considered a lessor Surgeon perform the surgery in July. I was in a LOT of pain, and limping. I could only drive about 20 minutes till my right knee was in terrible pain. My commute to work is 45 minutes each way. I could not wait to have a knee replacement. But I waited for the in my opinion was the better Surgeon. I am GLAD I did! My new knee is GREAT!!!
The time will pass, Hang in there!
 

Jockette

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Thank you @Jockette for your reply. Much appreciated! How did you cope during your wait?
To be honest, I wasn’t in that much pain. My pain level was intense when I stood up, sat down, and did stairs, but not at any other time, so my wait was not difficult.
 

Celle

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I emailed said doctor back expressing apologies for any misunderstanding and emphasizing that he was the only surgeon I trusted (at present at least). I received no reply! This led to me experiencing my worst medical trauma to date!!!

FYI...This doctor is listed on Bonesmart's "Surgeon Locator" list and I did try to leave a review but was denied. A quick phone conversation or a letter from him would have made a world of difference! But to completely ignore my last email says more about him than me! Definitely lowered my opinion of him as an ethical medical professional, no matter how good of a surgeon he might be!
@Jamie may be interested to hear this. She may ask you for the name of the surgeon.

P.S. I have a really hard time with NSAID's ...they really upset my stomach. Have been using Tylenol, but as the knee is so bad, it just barely takes the edge off. Also using BioFreeze gel and knee compression sleeve (and..ughh..a cane!).
NSAIDs are very hard on the stomach and they can cause gastric bleeding. Since they upset your stomach, you shouldn't take them at all, ever.
Unfortunately, no pain medications have much effect on pre-op pain. Tylenol works well afterwards, though.

Have you tried icing your knee? That often relieves some of the pain.
Ice to control pain and swelling

Fast forward to today...I have met with a few other surgeons in the last 2 weeks and found one that came highly recommended by my PCP. I really liked him. The problem is that as he uses the Smith and Nephew Journey Two BCS custom knee (not the one that was recalled), it takes several weeks to make. His scheduler offered me a surgery date of July 1st.
Since you like this surgeon, I think you should go ahead with his offered surgery date of July 1st.

You're unlikely to find another surgeon you trust who can do your surgery any sooner than that.
 
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Lerwick8

Lerwick8

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Thank you @Celle!

I am happy to provide @Jamie with that information. I certainly would not want anyone else to experience the treatment I have!

Yes, I ice like crazy. I have several knee ice wraps (the wrap around ones with velcro straps) in my freezer. It does offer some relief.

I agree that the new surgeon is worth waiting for, even though it really is a challenge physically and emotionally. @Rick951 gives me some hope.
 

2tkr

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P.S. I have a really hard time with NSAID's ...they really upset my stomach. Have been using Tylenol, but as the knee is so bad, it just barely takes the edge off. Also using BioFreeze gel and knee compression sleeve (and..ughh..a cane!).
I’ve gotten to the point where I feel naked without my compression sleeves, on both knees!!! Love them! And I have a very, chic cane. I get compliments on it all the time!
 
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Lerwick8

Lerwick8

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@2tkr ..Indeed! I hate taking the sleeve off at bedtime. It really has become a security blanket for me. I only have a HurryCane, (a left over remnant from my hip replacement), but it works for now.
 

Jamie

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@Lerwick8 .... I would like to know the name of the surgeon you had a bad experience with. You can send me a PM if you're uncomfortable posting it on the public forum (although it is fine to do so if you like).

I believe our IT guys have the rating feature on our Surgeon Locator turned off right now as we are all so busy with JRAD that they don't have time to review and upload all the ratings that have already been submitted. Please check back in a month or so and the function should be operational. Sorry for the inconvenience.
 
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Lerwick8

Lerwick8

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@Jamie
Of course..He is Dr. Robert Mayle. He is an excellent surgeon who gets great reviews; however, after what transpired, I would not personally recommend him to anyone (I am still trying to recover from it!). Will be having surgery with Dr. Kevin Louie who is a very highly regarded knee surgeon.
 
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Jamie

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He may get good reviews, but I'd be curious to know how many knee replacements he does in a year. It does seem like his specialties are a bit fractured.....hip and knee and spine and sports medicine. Sometimes that can mean the surgeon doesn't do all that many knees. It's important to have a surgeon that does at least 150 knee replacements (not "knee surgeries") in a year. I think you have made a good choice to move on to someone else.

And....just my opinion....but who would hire a doctor with an "expressionless face"? If that's really true, the woman is in the wrong profession. A good physician must have the ability to put a patient at ease and that's not done with a stone face.
 
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Lerwick8

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@Jamie... It is true that Mayle does perform far more hip replacements than knee replacements. The only other local surgeons I am aware of who have performed over 150 knee replacements annually are Christopher Cox and Peter Callender. Unfortunately, they are both in Mayle's practice.

Dr. Louie did come highly recommended as did another surgeon, Lesley Anderson. However, my research led me to learn that Dr. Anderson may not perform any more knee replacements than Mayle. So much of that data seems to come from Medicare patients and not the entire patient population of a given doctor. The entire experience has certainly been unnerving!

Yes, having a physician's assistant who is stone-faced is a bit confounding!
 

Jockette

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So much of that data seems to come from Medicare patients and not the entire patient population of a given doctor.
@Jamie I’ve seen this often. Why do they only go by Medicare patients statistics? It seems extremely limiting.
 

Jamie

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The published data comes from Medicare because Medicare is the only resource who gathers this information. This is why we are so pleased to be bringing our new Joint Surgeon Locator online. We've had our soft release but we still have probably a year's worth of work ahead getting data loaded, surgeons signed up and complete information out there for people to use. Our locator, unlike all the others online will eventually let people know how many of each procedure surgeons do as well as other things people need to know before making a decision about who is best for their situation.

@Lerwick8 ... while it's true that the stats on surgeons may come primarily from Medicare, what we tell our members is to either call the doctor's office and ask or pose that question during your initial appointment with the surgeon. The latter is preferable since the face to face meeting allows you to ask additional questions if needed.
 

Jockette

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It's important to have a surgeon that does at least 150 knee replacements (not "knee surgeries") in a year
How many revisions a year is a good number? I know you’ve told us but I’m sorry, I can’t remember. 50-60?
 

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