Hip Infection* I am the Storm

Layla

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A few points you mentioned raised a red flag. One being your surgeon is not a Board Certified Hip Revision Specialist. You really need someone with extensive experience. I wouldn’t put confidence in this surgeon to perform the revision.

I do applaud you for sharing this update as a cautionary tale to others. I have shared your surgeons’s name with Jamie from Admin and hopefully she’ll be able to recommend a reputable / experienced revision surgeon that is close to you.

I‘m sorry for all you’ve endured and hope you soon connect with someone who will successfully resolve your issue so you’re able to move forward in comfort and peace.
@danelady
 

Jamie

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Hi, @danelady.....I can provide you with the names of some surgeons in the Phoenix are to consult with. Would that help you?
 
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danelady

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@Jamie Hi Jamie, that is so very kind of you. Both my previous surgeons are up in Phoenix and they were both excellent. I was living in Phoenix when I had my first hip surgery and that recovery and the 5 years after have been problem free. When I realized 2 years ago that something was wrong with my back I was clueless as to what my recovery would be like and whether I'd even be able to return to work so I moved 150 miles away and made that commute to Phoenix for dr visits, the spinal fusion and follow up. It's a 300 mile round trip and I offered good money to anyone who could bring me in the day of the surgery and to anyone who could bring me back up again. 3 weeks later I was off painkillers and drove myself the 300 miles there and back, 3 months after my surgery I was back in the big truck feeling great....until I retired last year. So Jamie, as much as I would rather see a dr in the Phoenix area it's just not possible anymore. I won't pay out that money anymore and with the high price of fuel in the area it has gotten way too expensive.

I have been thinking non-stop about this since I found out the other night. Those first 2 board certified drs acting like the surgery is too difficult for even them, so what do they do? Pass me off to someone with a lot less experience and not even board certified. Right now I am seriously disgusted with them.

Tucson has the University of Arizona and is a big sports town, I know there has to be good orthopedic drs here. My insurance company (Medicare) is no help either, when I said I wanted a second opinion they tried to send me to the drs who turned me down. Oh my, I just realized it's Monday NOT Sunday, guess I'll start making some calls!
Thank you again!
 

Jamie

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The surgeon I was going to recommend in Phoenix is still the person that I feel would be able to correctly assess your situation, but I understand the issue of having a way to get back and forth from there.

Are you on regular Medicare or do you have an Advantage Plan? That can make a difference in your ability to find the right doctor. Advantage plans, while less expensive, don't allow you the flexibility to see the best doctor for your needs. You are limited to their network of physicians. If you do have an Advantage plan, you might want to consider changing to regular Medicare. You might also consider a supplemental insurance plan to cover your copays and a drug plan to help with medications. That gives you the most flexibility possible.

I did a little research for you for surgeons in Tucson. Here are some surgeons to check with. They are all connected with the Tucson Orthopedic Institute, but each appears to have good experience in Adult Reconstructive Surgery, which is what you want for a revision surgeon.

Your Medicare should cover multiple consultations for additional opinions, but always check with the doctor's office just to be sure.

Tucson

Tucson Orthopedic Institute

Dr. Chad Hills, DO (primary and revision hip and knee)
East Office

TMC Orthopaedic and Surgical Tower, First Floor
5301 E. Grant Road
Tucson, AZ 85712
Phone: (520) 784-6200

Dr. Edward Petrow, Jr, DO (Primary and revision hip and knee)
Northwest Office
6320 N. La Cholla Blvd., Suite 200
(2nd floor of the Gateway Building)
Tucson, AZ 85741
Phone: (520) 382-8200

Dr. John Maltry, MD (primary and revision hip and knee)
Northwest Office
12315 N. Vistoso Park Rd.
Oro Valley, AZ 85755
Phone: (520) 544-9700
Oro Valley Office
6320 N. La Cholla Blvd., Suite 200
(2nd floor of the Gateway Building)
Tucson, AZ 85741
Phone: (520) 382-8200
 
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danelady

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Wow....I think we are onto something! About a month ago I met a woman where I found a wheelchair at a yard sale. She saw my condition and recommended her surgeon to me, telling me how incredible he was. This morning I decided to make the call and guess who he is? Dr Maltry! He also works out of the same practice as the first dr who turned me down. I just got off the phone with scheduling and they will have to get a release from my current dr first before they can schedule me...so I am hopeful again.

Now, about my insurance. Last year when I first got signed up the gentleman suggested that since I was healthy and strong....which I was....I should sign up with the Advantage plan. OK, sounds good to me, so I did. Right after that is when everything started, talk about a cruel joke. I mean, I had a couple of things happen to me on the road....an emergency appendectomy and a bout of cellulitis that started in a blister I got from new work shoes....sheesh. But I got better and boom, back to work, so the Advantage plan made sense.

I recently spoke with a rep from Humana and told her I think I signed up for the wrong plan and she said....Oh no, this is a great plan, you can join an exercise program. Huh? I told her the surgery I just had made me more crippled than before, I think I'll pass on the exercises. lol.

Anyway, I lived in the semi a lot of years and was able to save, so I'll see what happens next. I don't need to hike anymore, I just want to be able to get to the bathroom without crying. Thanks again, Jamie!
 
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danelady

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Oh thank you CH!
Ya know, things are starting to fall apart on the right side because I am favoring the left side. Too funny.
I need to start wearing out evenly again, lol.
Thanks again!
 

CricketHip

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Oh, I totally get it.. I could have sworn my other foot somehow was fractured.. the auxiliary pains were ridiculous.
I will say that after I began using ice packs almost continuously, things did ease up a bit.
I also asked my OS for a temporary handicapped plackard for my car, plus asked for some medication to help during the wait until surgery. It all helped a bit. They couldn't give me a narcotic, but what they gave me did help a bit.
 
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danelady

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I find it quite interesting that when the first surgeon refused to help me, he did not refer me to a surgeon who took my insurance and worked in the same practice he did. Instead, he referred me to a surgeon working somewhere else who did NOT take my insurance but quickly passed me on to a much newer surgeon whose name is not listed as board certified. Perhaps it's a sort of rotation thing they follow? They all work in the same area of Tucson and are familiar with each other. Come to think of it, Dr Maltry might turn me down as well. I can only wait and see.
 

CricketHip

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Do it! Ask for one,, it made a big difference in my ability to be independent. It takes a couple weeks or more to get, you get a script from the doctor,, even a family Dr should be able to do it for you. then off to the DMV and then it shows up in the mail one day.
 
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danelady

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@CricketHip
Thank you! I am also changing my PCP. I asked for a referral to a podiatrist because I couldn't reach my left foot and my nails were getting LONG! I didn't hear back from anybody for almost 2 months, then my big toenail caught on something and got ripped halfway off. I've finally been able to carefully remove it but a few weeks ago my PCP office called and wanted to know why I couldn't reach my left foot. I almost screamed because she was the one who referred me to the first dr because of my hip. Then I told her I didn't need to see the podiatrist anymore because my nail got ripped off.

Her reply....her reply....was a hearty laugh and said great, just needed to let nature take its course. She actually laughed at my pain. Yeah well, we are done. And anyway, there is a place much closer that I just learned about and that other locals seem to like.

I am merely a dollar sign anymore.
 

Layla

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Her reply....her reply....was a hearty laugh and said great, just needed to let nature take its course. She actually laughed at my pain.
Pretty insensitive of her as a medical professional. I’m unsure whether this was the response of your MD, or the receptionist, either way…unprofessional.

Hopefully since Dr Maltry was brought to your attention twice now, you’re on to something. :fingersx: Please let us know what you hear. This sounds hopeful!

I agree with CricketHip about the handicapped placard. I was offered one when I scheduled my surgery and never followed through on getting it. I was miserable and circling parking lots like a dum-dum for the closest spot to the door as my surgery was approaching, What I didn’t consider was that I could have also used it for a few months post op since that’s when it would have expired. Get One, make your life easier.
Have a great day!
 
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danelady

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@Layla
Thank you Layla. A handicapped parking spot also has a little more room so a person can open their door all the way. I wind up having to park farther away than I like because people are so rude and sometimes I can't get into my truck because someone else is parked ON THE LINE of the adjacent spot. I have a console in the middle so I can't even slide across the seat.
My fingers are crossed as well!
 

CricketHip

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What I didn’t consider was that I could have also used it for a few months post op since that’s when it would have expired. Get One, make your life easier.
Have a great day!
Yes! This was the best part, using it post op.
 

Elf1

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@danelady definitely work on getting you the handicap parking permit, makes a world of difference, before and after. Some states, like Texas, actually issue them when you take the prescription to the County Tax Office. This is where we renew registrations and get new plates and such. Its nice to have the option to use it if you need and not use it if you're having a good day. Good luck!
 

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@CricketHip
Thank you! I am also changing my PCP. I asked for a referral to a podiatrist because I couldn't reach my left foot and my nails were getting LONG! I didn't hear back from anybody for almost 2 months, then my big toenail caught on something and got ripped halfway off. I've finally been able to carefully remove it but a few weeks ago my PCP office called and wanted to know why I couldn't reach my left foot. I almost screamed because she was the one who referred me to the first dr because of my hip. Then I told her I didn't need to see the podiatrist anymore because my nail got ripped off.

Her reply....her reply....was a hearty laugh and said great, just needed to let nature take its course. She actually laughed at my pain. Yeah well, we are done. And anyway, there is a place much closer that I just learned about and that other locals seem to like.

I am merely a dollar sign anymore.
We grey ones must stick together! Seriously I am having a zoom with my local representatives about some issues. This is tomorrow at 10 AM! I have also discussed some matters with our local county executive and believe it or not it does have some effect. I have just read some of your posts. I take it you are fully retired? One avenue for insurance can be to get it through a local chamber of commerce if you "still" have a "company" with the semi- There ARE some Medicare Advantage programs that are better than others. A full PPO (Medicare Advantage PPO) is great. I have this and it covers any doc who does original Medicare.It might be easier to get on one of the PPO's if you belong to some organization.
 
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danelady

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@spaniel Wow spaniel, I like your energy! I am going to talk to the Humana rep about changing to the PPO! I'm pretty sure they remember who I am by now, lol. Let me tell you about the battle I found myself in when I signed up for Medicare. In 2020 my surgeon in Phoenix found a cyst pushing on my sciatic nerve, not on my bad hip side, that would cause me pain from time to time. We discussed my options and rather than have my company realize I was not at 100% while driving their truck and tell me to get out of the truck and find my own way home, I opted to get the fusion and decompression right away. I took one month off so I could make it to all the preop tests. Surgery went great but dr said I MUST take 3 months off before drivng the big truck again. My FMLA ran out at 12 weeks so I paid $600 to Cobra to continue my coverage to stay compliant. I was only on Cobra for the one month then returned to work and my company's benefits. Boy oh boy did that open up a can of worms! I guess I didn't read the small print about Medicare not recognizing Cobra as acceptable health insurance. It was legal for me to postpone signing up on Medicare after turning 65 as long as I was covered under my company. When I finally quit and retired I was told that Medicare does NOT recognize Cobra and considered that a break in my health coverage so they were going to penalize me FOR LIFE! Oh boy, I was fuming! The hoops they made me jump through only to still tell me NO! But I also wrote letters and told MY side of the story. Well, they finally said ok, we won't penalize you, but I have since found so many people who are unaware of that Cobra trap! Glad there are people like you who are on our side!
 
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danelady

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How silly of me to think I'd find another dr to look at me. My surgeon, who is with Global Health, did his residency right here and apparently nobody wants to take this surgery away from him or even take a look. By now I'm sure my surgeon knows I'm looking for someone else. Perhaps he is not releasing me from his care and that's why no one is responding to me.

Saturday mornings I am now a fixture with the ladies at the little thrift store. They keep a comfortable chair set out for me and it does my heart good to get out of the house a bit.

They come from ranching and mining families that have been here for generations. We each compare notes about our health issues and they warn me about which drs to stay away from. I was told that unless we are living the high life, when we turn 65 we are no longer considered worth spending too much time and money on, we are just grannies in the rocking chair, I guess. Unfortunately, I am having a hard time arguing with her.

Come October I will change the Medicare plan I'm on and hopefully find a surgeon somewhere else.
 

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I think you are spot on about the location issue. In smaller areas docs will not take on other surgical cases within a given time frame. Even other subspecialties are sometimes afraid to take on a case. This occurred to me after my THR-I sustained foot damage in the other leg. This remains undiagnosed as one doc turfs me yet to another local doc-so on and do on. With that said I am headed to Harvard which believe it or not take my Medicare PPO. Again my PPO may be one of the better ones as it is a remnant of a huge corporation where my spouse worked. Those PPO s are incredible. I am not certain if one can purchase full access but at least you might get a better one. This experience with local surgeons has led me to the decision to pursue major surgeries at the IVY league joints. I have done this for a major eye surgery and there is no comparison. It is a major pain to travel but I am done with the local politics of the local docs. I have a few friends who are MDs and they too understand where I am coming from. But back to you- are you SURE that you can’t get care from a top notch ortho if you travel? I know traveling itself is not easy .
 

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