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Author Topic: doc completely mis-read MRI  (Read 1645 times)

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Offline jaxter

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doc completely mis-read MRI
« on: December 17, 2004, 07:33:33 PM »
So..I am new to the site..and finding a great deal of comfort and positive enrgy here.  I had an ACL recon 20 years ago along with various medial meniscus removals over the years and fell twisting my knee last June leading to another ACL recon and meniscus repair.  I was in intense pain and knew something was wrong.  My then doctor sent me to PT immediately, which I don't have a problem with, but when the swelling went down I had to beg for an MRI, which he reluctantly ordered.  When the films came back he pronounced me "fine" come back in 6 months.  The attatched report stated possible bucket handle tear...I gave up and went to a Sports Medicine expert who took one look at the MRI and said there were some very grave problems.  Is it just me or was the first OS remiss and neglectful.  I am pretty angry that something that could have been resolved last summer, and probably would have ensured the success of my meniscus healing, dragged out until November.  Oh, and he missed that my ACL graft was completely gone on the MRI.  Anybody have  any thoughts or similar experiences?  How did you deal with it?
'83 partial meniscetomy
'84 acl reconstruction,partial meniscetomy
'94 partial meniscetomy
'04 acl reconstruction, medial meniscus reconstruction, patella shave

Offline knight_of_knee

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Re: doc completely mis-read MRI
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2005, 06:53:01 AM »
I saw my primary care doctor for knee pain... he referred me to an orthopedist.  I called the office and got him to order me an MRI so that I wouldn't waste time when I went to the OS.  I didn't want to go for my first visit and have them send me off for an MRI before doing anything.

Anyways, I saw another doctor in the practice for an unrelated problem about a week later.  He gave me a letter from my primary care that was to be mailed that day... the sheet gave my MRI results and said "No meniscal tears.  Minimal arthritis."  The report *I* had included lots of other stuff which concerned me.  

I had picked up the MRI films between appointments and had the report with me which I gave to the doctor when I went.  He, unlike my pcp, was concerned, discussed pain management with me, and sent me off to get a brace made until my OS appointment (still waiting.. two more weeks I think before I see the ortho).

The difference between my primary care doctor and the second doctor I saw...  The second doctor has had 3 arthroscopic surgeries on one knee and two on the other.

A similar story... I was referred to an orthopedist in 2000 for knee pain.  He told me I was fat and to lose weight and I would be fine.  He spent about 30 seconds doing an exam on my knee and ordered no films.  

I went to my primary care doctor in 2003 because my knee went from occasional pain, locking, and subluxation to constant severe pain, sometimes so severe that I would just have to stand (embarrassingly) in the same place on one leg for several minutes before I was able to talk or move.  I had to keep my knee at almost 90 degrees in order to bear weight.  I looked ridiculous.

I was sent to a different orthopedist (from the fat diasgnosing one) who ultimately did arthroscopy on me.

It really made me angry that because of the initial doctor's fat bias, I was denied diagnosis and appropriate treatment.  

The doctor who did the surgery on me moved away and for this current episode (for lack of a better work) of knee injury I was referred to the doctor who told me I was fat (did he really think I didn't know?).

I chose to reschedule with a different doctor but unfortunately I've had to wait for a month for an appointment.  I'm hoping that the wait will be worth it.

My thoughts over the whole thing:

1.  If you know that the doctor is wrong, get another opinion.  If you're in pain, and your doctor dismisses it, go see someone else if at all possible.  If you're not satisfied with your treatment, seek out satisfaction... ultimately, we are the ones who have to live with our knees... not the doctors who treat us.

2.  I don't know where you are from, but if you are in the US, remember that you are the one paying the doctor.  They are working for *you* not the other way around.

3.  Learn as much as you can about your injury/condition so that you know you are getting the appropriate care.  The internet has lots of super websites (like this one :) ) with free informaiton.

4.  Find supportive people, especially those who have experienced what you are going through, to compare notes with and get advice from.

I always wonder what would have happened if the doctor in 2000 had taken me seriously and made an attempt to find out what was wrong.  Would I have needed surgery?  Would I still be hurting 5 years later?

I know where you are coming from.... so good luck.