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Author Topic: contacting surgeons  (Read 1389 times)

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Offline LittleLampie

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contacting surgeons
« on: April 19, 2006, 10:28:27 AM »
Hi,
I live in the Uk and am at a dead end with the NHS. I have seen six different surgeons all of whom have said there is nothing they can do. I am 21 and have to use crutches/wheelchair all the time so am not satisfied with that answer. I am considering an amputation (NHS docs only option) if I can't find a surgeon who will do something. How do I go about contacting a private surgeon before getting a referral so I can see if they have any ideas of what to do. I am a poor student and just can't afford to shell out consultation fees everytime I see a surgeon until I find someone who will do something. Any ideas.

Cheers
Fran

Offline Charliemouse

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Re: contacting surgeons
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2006, 12:59:24 PM »
I don't know for sure, but maybe you could produce a standard letter to send out to them outlining your case and enquiring whether they would consider taking a look at your notes before you go to see them so as to not waste their time or yours (or of course your money).

Good luck
18/06/05 Injured trampolining
Fixed Flexion 20-90 deg until...
01/09/05 lateral meniscectomy (40%)
09/06/06 Patella tendon aclr
09/09/06 Back on the tramp (carefully)
10 years on and still going strong
!!Stop twisting when you land or it hurts!!

Offline Beth_T

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Re: contacting surgeons
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2006, 01:24:24 PM »
Hi Fran

I agree with CharlieMouse that's a good idea.  ;)

Alternatively give their secretaries a call and ask their advise.  They're a mine of information and often will spend some time explaining things to you and will know if their OS can help/advise you. (in my experience anyway).

Good luck and let us know how you get on
Beth
Had a not needed LR op due to a fall
Found out that nerve damage was causing the pain, acupuncture worked - all ok :)

Offline kgargfarha

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Re: contacting surgeons
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2006, 02:09:20 PM »
I think a cover letter explaining your condition as well as your finances and sending to as many surgeons as you can find are qualified might be an idea. Also, some doctors will cut you deals if you pay out of pocket. Also, some professionals take on pro bono cases and possibly you could ask for that?  I'm as psychologist and do a lot of pro bono work as does my husband who is an attorney. I'm not sure about surgeons doing pro bono work but it's worth a shot. Also try to find a surgeon who does surgery at a hospital that's non-profit. For example, I work at a hospital that has a financial asst application and some of my patients pay nothing for services b/c of their financial situation. This financial asst also covers hospital charges for surgeries. Good luck to you!

Offline heather k from wales

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Re: contacting surgeons
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2006, 02:19:53 PM »
I personally dont think it is a case of seeing lots of different surgeons, but one or two who are the best who specialises in knees only and also works in NHS
Do you know if the other surgeons you have seen specialise in knees only or were they just general orthopaedic, were they actually surgeons or just Dr's??  Were you referred to these by your GP or through A&E??

Where abouts in the UK are you??.
Would you be prepared to travel??
Have you been given any idea what is wrong with your knees??
Have you had an MRI, X-Rays, etc...??

Put down as much infomation as possible and Im sure us Brits can do our best to help point you in the right direction.

Take care,

Heather ;)
91 Mangled Right knee on trials motorbike
94 Meniscus Repair
95 ACL/LCLrec,notchplasty,bone graft
01 90% Menisectomy
02 Scope
03 ACLrec,LAD
OA,osteophytes
04 Ch'plasty, ACLdeb,Suprapatella mbr ex, haematoma
04 Scope
March 06 Scaphoid op/bone graft
Nov 07 Thyroid Cancer ops x 2, radiation

Offline LittleLampie

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Re: contacting surgeons
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2006, 04:26:48 PM »
Ok, so here's some further detail on my condition so that anyone can recommend a surgeon.
Firstly the six other surgeons I have seen were all orthopods specialising in knees.
I have no cartilage on the end of my femur on the right hand side (left knee), also one meniscus completely removed, the other damaged.
I have a massive hole in the cartilage on the underside of my kneecap and all the major ligaments in my knee are stretched due to my limping. I have done six years of physio and can still barerly walk.
I have been told there is nothing the docs can do as I'm too young for a knee replacement and my ligaments are trashed. I have had tonnes of clean up surgeries on the cartilage (7) and a fulkerson TTT. None of which have really helped and some have made it worse.
The docs say I have lost too much cartilage for cartilage transplantation which I wanted to try.
I live in Cardiff and will travel anywhere if someone will do something.
Any ideas much appreciated.
Sorry this is so long,
Cheers
Fran

Offline Beth_T

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Re: contacting surgeons
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2006, 05:49:37 PM »
Fran

I've sent you an IM

Beth
Had a not needed LR op due to a fall
Found out that nerve damage was causing the pain, acupuncture worked - all ok :)

Offline heather k from wales

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Re: contacting surgeons
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2006, 06:08:12 PM »
Fran, Im so sorry to hear about the terrible time you are having with your knee.
If I were in your shoes, Id be pushing and pushing for a replacement.  Its OK them saying you are too young, what about your quality of life???  Do they really expect you to wait until you are 50 or 60 then be told you can have a replacement and go out and enjoy your life :-\  You want to live today,not when you are ready to draw a pension >:(
OK OK I know you already know all this and feel as though your hands are tied behind your back :(

If you are really considering an amputation, then what have you to loose with a replacement???.  Some surgeons make me really mad  >:(  Id like to see the ones who refuse you a replacement just to live for a day in your state, then see what they tell you :P

There is a knee surgeon in Oswestry at the RJAH hospital called Professor James Richardson who specialises in the younger patients knee replacement.....BUT I believe he did take an awful lot of persuation to give another knee geek who is 39 (I think) the go ahead for a TKR.

Take a look at 'Jules' posts.  She is just about to have a TKR, her posts are really interesting and worth a read.  I think she has named her surgeon in her posts.  It may be worth contacting her surgeon for an opinion??

I wish you every success, please keep us up to date on your progress,

Heather ;)
91 Mangled Right knee on trials motorbike
94 Meniscus Repair
95 ACL/LCLrec,notchplasty,bone graft
01 90% Menisectomy
02 Scope
03 ACLrec,LAD
OA,osteophytes
04 Ch'plasty, ACLdeb,Suprapatella mbr ex, haematoma
04 Scope
March 06 Scaphoid op/bone graft
Nov 07 Thyroid Cancer ops x 2, radiation

Offline UK Girl !

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Re: contacting surgeons
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2006, 09:27:04 PM »
Fran,
If a knee replacement is what you need then dont even think about amputation, in fact forget altogether about amputation. If your surgeon says hat this is the only way to treat your knee then why wont he do it? Think maybe you should go back to gp and get another referral - making sure that it is a knee specialist - perhaps you ought to ask to go to a london hospital - University College Hosp - I saw an OS from there (sorry dont have his name - it was at a training day I saw him when he was assessing up and coming specialists). When my surgeon was having cold feet about doing my tkr my gp said he would find me someone that would do it - even if it meant travelling. It may take time to find the rght OS but if they really mean it that TKR is the only way to go then someone will do it.- It is your quality of life- you are very young and obviously dont want to be in the position where 25 - 30 years down the road your knee is back to square one - but who knows what will be designed in that time to deal with it.

good luck and keep in touch
anja
1978 - ruptured acl and all cartalidge removed.
several debridements over years
TKR 10TH JULY 2006 http://www.kneeguru.co.uk/KNEEtalk/index.php?topic=28257.0  Aug 07 patellar maltracking - more physio! Still pain - but so much better !
BIOMET AGC  TKR  (with 10 yr warranty !)

Offline phyllisholmes

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Re: contacting surgeons
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2006, 12:06:55 PM »
Hi
My friend is having stem cell cancer treatment after much chemo since Septmeber.  He has written and called numerous consultants.  Basically he he finds their names on internet and calls them. He has been lucky with his replies and learned so much. He now awaits the moment for information from one more in Southampton until his decision next week
Hope this helps.  Remember you have the rigt to call and write to whomever you fancy
Phyllis

Offline andie23

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Re: contacting surgeons
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2006, 03:18:41 PM »
Hi Fran,

It would be worth contacting the Alphaklinik in Munich. They're expensive, but Dr Toft is at the forefront of constructive knee surgery and appears to be using more advanced techniques, closer to those on offer in the States. Even if you email just to get some advice for options available.

I know my friend was at the end of her tether as her OS messed up knee op and she raves about how good Dr Toft is.
It's worth a try!
http://www.alphaklinik.de/en

Good luck, sending lots of positive vibes your way,
Andrea