The WAITING ROOM => GENERAL KNEE QUESTIONS and comments (good for new threads) => Topic started by: EMANN on November 16, 2006, 04:56:44 PM

Post by: EMANN on November 16, 2006, 04:56:44 PM
Would I have a case vs the physical therapist if I got hurt under their care?  I called a lwyer and he said it would be difficult to prove.
Post by: Leentje on November 17, 2006, 12:09:20 PM
I am not with you... :-[ WHY??

Post by: simplyjen on November 17, 2006, 05:00:47 PM
I would think so....people have lawsuits against chiropractors all the time, so why not physical therapists? I'm a legal secretary at an insurance defense law firm and we deal with plaintiffs who are injured (or allegedly injured  :-\)  It would have to be documented somewhere in medical records that you are hurt, either in the PT records or in your OS records.  You might want to contact an attorney who specializes in medical malpractice.

Post by: EMANN on November 18, 2006, 06:15:44 PM
Nov 05 ...Had a Chondroplasty.  Surgeon said Grade 1-2  chondromalacia.  All cartilage in tact and all looks good.
Jan 06....At PT....I refused to do a SLR with a 10 lb weight saying it was to much b/c my quad was too weak still. PT insisted, I did it and it felt like my knee snapped in half.  Finallly in Sept got an MRi which confirmed a tear behind the kneecap of 3mm down to the bone.

My concern is they'll say I already had a problem and it just progressed? Even though we know that isnt the case.

 I also wonder if the OS shaved to deep into the cartilage behind the kneecap.....that I will never know!
Post by: knee deep in Goo on November 18, 2006, 07:51:50 PM
why dont you go to the hospital and get your surgery notes.
Post by: Jaci on November 18, 2006, 09:34:22 PM

By definition, chondromalacia IS damage to the articular cartilage. So if you had grade 1-2 at time of surgery, you had damage to the cartilage and a chondroplasty was performed to smooth that damage. The chondroplasty did not neccessarily correct the underlying condition that caused the chondromalacia in the first place.

I tend to agree with the lawyer that it would be very difficult to prove that the PT incident caused the defect that showed up on an MRI performed in Sept-- approx. 8 months after the fact. The lesion could have been caused by the PT, but it also could be related to the original problem that surgery was performed for or some other issue that developed subsequent to the surgery. I think you would be very hard pressed to prove that the actual mechanism of damage was the PT incident unless you had evidence such as an MRI performed shortly before and after it occurred.

Take care,


Post by: EMANN on November 19, 2006, 03:00:45 AM
That is what figured Jaci.  However, if you read Dr. Grelsamer's notes,Grade 1-2 is not a problem at all and no surgery is required for this.

 I did have an MRI immediatly after but they did not do Axial images and it totally missed the defect. After still not being able to run right or walk down decline planes normally I had another MRI with a new OS that found it last month.

I do have the OR notes and the diagnosis was Grade 1-2 chondromalacia in both knees....yet only the left knee had a chondroplasty performed.....very curious as to why.  I also really believe that too much cartilage was shaved off during the procedure......The OR report said a resident did the surgery, not my OS!! yet when I called them on that they told me the resident cut me & scoped me, told the OS what he thought he saw, then the OS did the chondroplasty.  I think that is BS.

Post by: Sandy_F on November 20, 2006, 01:44:22 PM
You had a period of time between surgery and the MRI.  You were walking and doing things during this time.  Things could have happened during this time.  You would have a difficult if not impossible time proving that the PT did any damage to your knee.  Condromalacia is usually a progressive process. 
If you had a MRI immediately after the PT incident then maybe, just maybe you might have had a possibility of proving some issue with the PT.  I don't think that you could prove anything now.  I don't think you could prove anything against the operating OS either.

How do you know that your problem is not a progression.  Are you looking for someone to blame for your knee?  Its easy to try to blame someone else instead of accepting that the knee problem is progressing and causing a life style issue.  I hurt my knee at the age of 14 (i am 53 now).  I can trace back to several OS that did things to futher injure my knee.  Their actions hurt my knee instead of helped it.  I can't go back and sue them.  I had one overdose me on cortisone by giving me injections monthly for over 2 years.  One, did an early scope (I had one of the first scopes done in the US) that went in on wrong side and could not find damage so I was imagining things.  I had another just scope and clean out when I had maltracking patella.  I had another do a patellectomy without fully disclosing ramification of surgery.  I had another the put in a too small spacer for the TKR and that had to be replaced.  So I have had many mess ups.  I am dealt a mess and am living with the results.  I can't prove anything and the docs go on with life.  I have to make the best with what I have.  Its what I have to do to go on.  Don't look back.  Go forward and live the best I can. 
Post by: EMANN on November 20, 2006, 02:50:42 PM
No I am not looking for someone to blame.......After the initial surgery the OS said all cartilage was in tact and everything looked good.  I am po'd that I thought I was going in for a meniscal surgery and ended up with a chondroplasty.

How do I know when it happened?  I was progressing ok, then when I hurt it at PT the knee was in excruciating pain after that happend, filled with fluid and shut down totally.  I really think I am wasting my time time on these boards sometimes with some of you.
Post by: knee deep in Goo on November 20, 2006, 02:53:43 PM
Same thing happened to me.  However you have to be positive and roll with the punches.
Post by: EMANN on November 20, 2006, 07:14:48 PM
The same thing did not happen to you.

My knee is ok other than the defect.

Your knee has all of this....1//12/06 -  Chrondroplasty on MFC and LFC Patella shot, Partial Meniscus removed.
4/10/06 -- Standing X-Ray taken.  MFC shows little joint space bone on bone
6/2/06--  unloader brace / three Othovisc   injections.
12/06  TKR right knee -Zimmer Gender solution knee

So how did the same thing happen to you?

Post by: luckygrandma on November 20, 2006, 08:07:22 PM
I'm afraid I won't be able to tell you what you want to hear but it doesn't mean I don't agree with you and understand.

In 9 months I had three surgeries on the same knee. I was having knee problems and an MRI was taken and it showed I had a pretty bad torn meniscus. When the OS got inside my knee he said I was filled with arthritis and he did a debridement. It was all down hill from there. The pain was worse then before I had the surgery.  After trying all the conservative treatments and nothing working he told me I needed a TKR. Seconds before surgery he changed his mind and decided I could get by with a PKR.  I didn't think the pain could get any worse but it did. I was able to walk before surgery and working, but after these two surgeries I had to quit my job as the pain was so bad and I couldn't walk on it. 

I decided that after going to this OS for 14 years that he wasn't even listening to what I was trying to say to him. Finally I went for a second opinion. I was so shocked and angry at what I was told. The new OS told me that not only does he not believe in PKR and doesn't perform them, but that I should never have had one because the arthritis was too far advanced and a TKR was scheduled. Because of the other two surgeries my recovery has been longer, but I'm at least getting better every day.

How I handled it is I wrote to the other OS and got everything off my chest and felt so much better. I didn't have the money or time to fight something that I knew I couldn't win at, but he was sure going to know how I felt and that he lost a patient of 14 years. I also decided to put my energy into getting better and moving on with my future. At least now I have a future to look forward to. 

Why do you think Doctors pay malpractice insurance. They can hire the best lawyers money can buy.  I'm afraid little old me wouldn't stand a chance. >:(
Post by: knapptime on November 20, 2006, 11:03:29 PM
It seems as though people are giving their opinions and their stories (as I believe you requested). Why be rude about it? You are obviously and maybe rightfully upset and bitter. The people on these boards did not do anything to cause your problems. I am very sorry for your pain, trouble, and even any medical care gone wrong, no one deserves to go through all that.
But, everything is not solved with a lawsuit either. Maybe medical costs would not be so astronomical if people were not always looking to sue the doctors.
Post by: knee deep in Goo on November 20, 2006, 11:33:39 PM

Guess what.... Not that it matter explaining all this to you.   I had gone into surgery thinking a small tear was going to be taken care of .    And guess what crap happens. The whole knee was crap and only got worse.  In less than a year.. Not that it is worth explaining to you.  In fact,  I believe that the bit of cartlidge that was taken out of my knee resulted in my joint collapse .. nOt that it is even worth my time to explain to you. 

I agree with knapptime.  You are being rude.
Post by: Sandy_F on November 20, 2006, 11:49:35 PM
He does not want our opinion.  He wants up to say yes he is right and to sue the PT and the OS and everyone else.  He sees $$$ coming out of this.  Well it does not happen that way.  Even when you can prove that a doc does something wrong, you may not be able to prevail in a lawsuit.

Things happen.  There is a reason why medicine is called a practice.  I went into surgery with one spot being grade 4 and a year later the whole knee was trash.  I did not injure it.  Was it the OS fault, no.  I went to a pt who pushed my knee way too much after my tkr and make me lose progress where I ended up needing a manipulation.  Pre PT I was at 110 degrees.  After that PT I was at 65 degrees.  I had severe pain and loss of rom.  Seems to be the reason.  But you cannot prove it.  There are so many factors that play into how your body reacts to things.  Did you walk too far, did you do any activities that you should not have.  So many things.  If it was that easy this board would not exist.  We would go into the doc, get it fixed and go on with life.  That does not happen.

Post by: EMANN on November 21, 2006, 12:58:29 AM
I am on here to intellectually discuss things with people and get their advice...not their criticisms and especially not your medical diagnosis..  No I do not want money, just my knee fixed.  A lot of people on here were hurt in accidents, falls, sports, etc.......My PT screwed up my knee.

It seems you only choose what you want to hear.  The knee was fine prior to surgery.  It was fine after surgery, but I had no idea why a chondroplasty was performed.....I told him to "look around."  From what I've now learned, that is a very questionable surgery and often best left undone......especially since I didnt know I was getting it done.

Nevertheless, I was still ok after surgery until PT.

I am through discussing things with you and please stay out of my threads. Thank You.

Post by: Sandy_F on November 21, 2006, 01:09:00 AM
Sorry, but how could you knee be fine before surgery.  Why did you have surgery?

You are the one being rude.  You come in and expect everyone to agree with you not discuss.  You want everyone to say you PT screwed up.  Well maybe the PT did.  But a knee that was fine would not need PT.  A knee that was fine would not need surgery. 

You come in and just want to discuss a lawsuit not a knee problem and get mad when you get opinions that differ.  You do not want an intellectual discussion.

Would I have a case vs the physical therapist if I got hurt under their care?  I called a lwyer and he said it would be difficult to prove.

No, I hurt my knee, had surgery, blah, blah blah.  Just lawsuit.
Post by: EMANN on November 21, 2006, 01:36:41 AM
Its like talking to stones :-\

Post by: Jaci on November 21, 2006, 02:20:56 AM
Hmmm.. EMANN has 120+ posts on KG so has discussed the whole knee problem-- surgery, PT, MRI, patella defect, etc.-- ad nauseum. It's not like this is the first post ever on the subject.

Plus, it's not like EMANN is the first person ever to ask whether a lawsuit may be in order, many people have. It doesn't mean they are lawsuit happy or trying to blame someone or have a negative attitude or anything else. I think, like most of us, they are trying to sort out their knee problems and find solutions so they can get on with their lives. I think we each go through various stages as we try to understand and move on. Sometimes we just need to talk through things so that we can move on; other times we may need a swift kick in the rear to do so. But I think as members of this community we can do both of those things without resorting to insults and criticism. 


Post by: luckygrandma on November 21, 2006, 02:43:49 AM
Just curious. How is a lawsuit going to fix your knee. It will only bring you more stress then you are having now.  I went to PT for 5 months after my TKR and the progress was very slow. My PT did not ever contact my doctor as to my progress and only measured me twice in 5 months, the day before my doctors appointment as he had to give a report. I over did it one weekend, and Monday when I went back to PT I was in so much pain that I cried all the way through it. Well, we had to get a measurement because my Doctor's appointment was the next day Obviously he couldn't get much of a measurement on me as I could hardly bend my knee.  The next day when I went back to the Doctors, guess what, a manipulation.  Five months I struggled and PT kept telling me I didn't need a manipulation.  I was left feeling like I wasted the last fiive months. I traveled over 40 miles one way to PT three times a week and ended up with a manipulation and a CPM machine for several weeks.  I've had therapy 6 times with 6 different therapy groups and I'm back in therapy again and I love where I am now.  I could find something wrong with all the rest of them.
I'm really confused as to what you want to hear, because from what I can see everyone has been nice and just trying to give you examples as to where you are not alone. Maybe everyone's problem isn't exactly like yours but we have all dealt with therapist, OS's, etc. You are wasting  energy being angry when you should be concentrating on what you can do to make it better.
Post by: EMANN on November 21, 2006, 03:09:23 AM
Thanks Jaci.

This wasnt a big deal...I just threw it out there.
Post by: Jaci on November 21, 2006, 03:37:18 AM
Actually, let's say 'thanks' to luckygrandma because she demonstrated exactly the 'process' that many of us go through. She thought about legal action, but ultimately decided against it. I have no idea what transpired or how she came to that conclusion, but I doubt that it was an instantaneous leap from having the thought to making the decision to not file a suit. There was most likely some time and discussion and maybe even serious soul-searching involved. Was she lawsuit happy or negative or blaming of others because she had the thought? I don't think so, but maybe someone else would think otherwise. My point is that people go through a process* when they are dealing with life changing situations. Who are we to be judgmental or critical of stages of a process that we most likely either have gone through or will go through at some time in our lives?

I do think that luckygrandma's idea of writing a letter to get everything off her chest is a good one. I know that at some point I will mail a package of info on diagnosing and treating arthrofibrosis to my former OS and PT.

Take care,


*5 stages of grief-- denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance
Post by: luckygrandma on November 21, 2006, 11:12:12 AM
Thanks Jaci for the compliment and you hit the nail on the head. I wanted to sue this doctor so bad I could taste it, but after much thought about it decided it wouldn't do any good.

As far as the letter it was the right thing for me. Since I wrote that letter I have been able to get past this and on with my life. In writing that letter I felt that the Doctor did not get away with it stock free, and maybe someone else won't go through what I did as a result. I let others read the letter before I sent it and everyone thought it was very good. The letter went step by step leading up to where I am now plus medical reports to document it.  I was already depressed and emotionally drained from pain, I did not have the energy to fight this and end up with nothing.  This would have only made me angrier. I had enough documentation to make that doctor nervous and that is what I wanted to do.

If the only thing I had ever gone to this doctor for was the knee I wouldn't have bothered because it wouldn't have made an impact, but I have been going to this doctor for 14 years, and so YES !!! it would be noticed  that I wasn't coming anymore, plus I cancelled an appointment I had with him. In 14 years I've never cancelled an appointment. 

I could have gone back years on this guy. Two different times which I won't get into he almost cost me my life with his bad decisions. These are so complex I won't bore you with them. I also learned that the hip replacement he put in 14 years ago was the wrong size.  I complained to him that the hip slips if I'm not careful and he said "Oh!! it's just your bone structure"  If ever there was a case to be won it was this one, but it wasn't just one PT experience, you would need a series of things to prove malpractice. I don't think just going into court and saying that he should not have performed a PKR, because he would have come back saying "it was the right decision at the time" and the circumstances were different. RIGHT!! Things really changed drastically in 9 months. I quit PT several times during all this as they just kept making the pain worse.  Believe me I know what you are going through and the temptation.. I didn't ever want to go back to PT again and then I found this marvoulous group and go to hot water therapy 2 times a week and land therapy once a week. They are wonderful and I didn't think PT could ever be like this.  They are very concerned about my pain level and ask me if any exercise bothers me. This OS also cost me my job. I was able to work before the surgery and after he did the arthroscopy I was out of work for two months and told if I didn't get back to work I'd lose my job, so in pain I went back to work and lasted two months because of the pain. Then after the PKR I had to resign as I could hardly walk and was  in so much pain.I worked in a preschool with physically and mentally challenging children. These were 3 and 4 year old children, do I need to say more.

All I'm saying is do what you feel you have to but be prepared for anything to happen. These docs stick together and I couldn't even be sure that my new OS would back me up in court against another OS. I did what was right for me and you have to do what is right for you.

The best thing for you to do is find an OS who will listen to you and you are happy with and when asked where you want to go to PT be sure and name this place you don't want to go back to and tell him what happened. Believe me they will suffer as the word will get around and they will lose business. Do you think the OS will continue to send people where this is happening. Believe me what comes around, comes around. Sit back and enj oy the ride. In the end they will cook their own goose.

I might add that I also get satisfaction out of coming on this board and sharing my experiences and I feel by doing that I am helping others and there's great satisfaction in helping others. I also spare nothing in telling others locally about this and I'm sure he has lost other patients as a result. I know people that were going to him that have since switched OS's from what I have told them.  Word of mouth is very powerful and where they get most of their business so keep talking.

Ask your OS if you have a place locally who does hot water therapy, you can even do water therapy at the YMCA but the water is not as hot. This way you perform the exercises yourself and at your pain level. In water you also don't feel the pain as much. ;)

Post by: DeborahinNC on November 21, 2006, 05:14:06 PM
First to Luckygrandma - thank you for your post.  I know sometimes you are hesitant to because of other feedback you have received but for me - I appreciate your being candid.  It really does help to know that others have been where I am now and are still going forward.  To thank you.

To EMANN - you may not want to hear this, I get a little long winded so you can just go bla bla bla and ignore the post.  I too had a legal issue that I could not get an attorney to take.  I was injured at work and the state I work in has one of the worst WC laws (found that out kind of late).  They denied my claim so I pursued it legally.  I had the time since I was out of work after the surgery to repair the injury.  I also had a physician mis-read my MRI and say I had, in essence, old knees and no injury.  How wrong he was and of course this started me down the other course of WC denial.  I did two things.  I did not consider suing the physician who can't read an MRI - like Luckygrandma I realized that there was really no law suit since this was not done on purpose.  And again like Luckygrandma (see why I like you so much).  I wrote him a letter, informing him of his error and not only the amount of money it has cost me and now will cost me again with a second surgery out of pocket but what he put me through with the WC denial etc.  I of course heard nothing back and really did not expect to - well ok in my mind I got a letter back but I knew that would not really happen. 

So, letter writing is a good way to help you to feel better.  The other thing you can do is to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (providing you are in the US).  Personally, I call the BBB when seeing a new practice and see if any complaints have been filed.  They do keep them and they will tell you.  You can also see if there is a state board that oversees physical therapy and write to them.  You may not have "legal" recourse but you do have a voice that can let others know that you feel you have been harmed by their care.   

Hope things get better for you.  Deborah
Post by: luckygrandma on November 21, 2006, 07:11:17 PM
Deborah, Thank you so much for your post and you are right, sometimes I'm afraid to post because of how some people take what I have to say.  Instead of writing me and letting me know that something in my post upset them, they just automatically contact the Moderrator and complain to her.  I have edited many of my posts that received negative feedback and deleted many entirely.

I will say one thing in the Moderator's defense. I think the Moderator is very fair and just trying to please everyone, but I think that is impossible. 

I've received personal, hurtful letters in the past in my e-mail and I've never reported them to the moderator.  I don't think whinning is the way to solve probems. We are mostly all adults here and we should act like adults, especially if there are children posting here.

Your post made my day. Thank You.   
Post by: willp on November 21, 2006, 08:14:35 PM
Hi everyone,

Like it or not, we're all on this board because something went wrong. A sports injury, a bad OS, a fall.....there are so many ways.

Emann - I can completely sympathise with your bad experience at the hands of an OS and PT. I had an OS talk me into an exploratory surgery that I didn't need, with the promise that NOTHING could go wrong. The worst case scenario was that I'd be in the same situation that I was before the op, which was being able to run 5 miles, but have mild aches afterwards.

I now have arthrofibrosis, and my OS has washed his hands of me. I retrospect I was very naive. My operation where nothing could go wrong has ended (for the moment) any form of active sports except cycling. Previous to my op I'd run competitively for 22 years.

Trust me, I thought about legal action, and occasionally still do. But instead I decided that I was going to put my energies and money into finding out what was wrong, and trying to deal with it. For me, that involved going to Dr Steadman, who gave me a scar tissue diagnosis. I have more surgery scheduled on December 15th to remove it.

So we all have problems and frustrations and anger.....but lets not take it out on each other. As far as I can tell, everyone here wants to be supportive and helpful to other people. I know that I've received invaluable advice and support from others with AF in the light of my diagnosis. It's just not right to shout at people here when they disagree with you or tell you things you might not want to hear.

If you post about an issue as contentious as lawsuits, you're going to get a very wide range of opinions, and you should be prepared for that. My personal advice is that you're better off seeing one of the top specialists mentioned often on this board, as they're your best hope of improvement.

Good luck - I really do wish you all the best.



Post by: EMANN on November 21, 2006, 08:42:23 PM
Willip--Nicely put.  I just want this thread to go away though.  I threw it out there just to throw it out there then got attacked by a few indiviudals.

I am not suing anyone and if you've read my other 100 and some posts I am trying to solve my own knee problems now with the help of many people in this forum.

I've gotten great advice from many on here & feel a little better about my situation knowing I at least have an option if my condition worsens thanks to the people on here.

Post by: luckygrandma on November 21, 2006, 08:58:50 PM
EMANN, I don't think this post should go away. I think it is a good post and brought up many interesting issues. By posting this you gave me a chance to tell my story and share my experiences which others have done also.  Just because we don't all agree doesn't make any of us right or wrong. I think some could be a little nicer about it, but I do think when one posts it is very hard to express yourself as we cannot see expressions, and know that person  and so things are taken out of context.  Many of us are also dealing with pain which tends to talk for itself. 

By the sounds of it just by posting your thoughts is helping you to sort things out.  You should feel honored. I've seen many posts here that don't even bring attention and yours was a breath of fresh air. If people become afraid to post because they always have to worry about offending someone then the board has lost its meaning. Many of the posts get hot and then they settle down. I think it is interesting to see how many different ways people view the same issues.  Anyway don't feel bad, you are not the only one who has been bashed on these boards. Just consider the source and move on.   
Post by: celinenj03 on November 21, 2006, 09:03:02 PM
Okay, let me get right to the point. I don't think you have a case at ALL. Reason: So much of this whole knee surgery/rehab is "subjective". There is too much blame to go around. Between the PT's, the surgeons, and even the patients (did he/she rehab correctly..) it's just way to speculative to prove just WHO is at fault. This is the one thing that always worried me about orthopedic medicine. Who can really say who caused it?

FYI - At about 3 weeks post op my meniscectomy my bonehead PT had me do Straight Leg Raises. I could barely manage one, my leg shook and it looked like it was hanging down from the joint because the muscles were so terribly atrophied. He persisted that I do it. Being the tough little x-athlete, I bit my lip and did a set despite the excruciating pain. I figured, he must know what he is talking about. WRONG. My whole suprapatellar sac above my kneecap filled with fluid. I had to walk around for a week with a water balloon pressing down on my kneecap. Then, I had to get it drained which hurt like hell. I also had the muscles shut down and it took a long time for the swelling to go away even after they drained it. What a bonehead that guy was. Taught me a lesson though. You have to be your own advocate. If something in your gut tells you it ain't right, don't do it.

I have a personal trainer now and while he is excellent, I'm not afraid to tell him when I disagree with an exercise and I'm 6 months post op ACLR. I just don't want to take any chances.

I'm sorry to say you prob. won't see a penny for this, even though yeah, you should. But it's just so hard to prove. If you can get an attorney to take your case WITHOUT a retainer, go for it. Good luck! Sorry you have had a rough time of it. Most of us have here, but you will be okay. Be smart and don't trust anyone with your knee but YOU.
Post by: Jaci on November 22, 2006, 03:23:14 AM
Just wanted to wrap up this discussion--

That is what figured Jaci.  However, if you read Dr. Grelsamer's notes,Grade 1-2 is not a problem at all and no surgery is required for this.

I could not find where Dr. Grelsamer discusses this, so I can't comment on it.

I do have the OR notes and the diagnosis was Grade 1-2 chondromalacia in both knees....yet only the left knee had a chondroplasty performed.....very curious as to why. 

I think grading systems are actually rather imprecise, so just because it says both knees had grade 1-2 chondromalacia it doesn't mean that the cartilage was exactly the same in both knees. It's possible that one knee had mostly grade 1 and a very small amount of grade 2, while the other knee had a larger section of grade 2 and a small section of grade 1. In both cases it could still be characterized as Grade 1-2 chondromalacia. Also, the various grades encompass a range of damage; I have heard of OS using "+" (like 2+) to signify damage that was worse than grade 2, but not so bad that it was grade 3. However, not all OS use that system. I think the only way you'll ever know why your OS felt it was necessary to perform chondroplasty on one knee but not the other is to ask him. 

Hope you can get things sorted out.

Take care,



Post by: EMANN on November 22, 2006, 03:26:27 AM
Jaci-- It mentioned it in his book which I bought a few weeks ago........If only I had found all this out prior to my surgery! :-\

Have a good Holiday.