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Author Topic: Options...can I go to a different country?  (Read 1451 times)

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Offline Kari

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Options...can I go to a different country?
« on: April 23, 2003, 06:00:23 AM »
Hi kneegeeks,
I am looking for options.  I have been told I need an osteochondral allograft.  I live in Canada, where there is one physician, located in Toronto that does the procedure.  Normally it would be 3 to 6 month wait for an initial consult, and then ???maybe 6  months ??? for a surgery date.  That would mean a year before the surgery.  
In light of the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)situation in the Toronto area, the entire hospital where the OS practices is practically closed for business.  There are NO orthopedic surgeries (or many others for that matter) going on, and even the secretaries are not to come into work.  This has been going on for 1 month already, and the situation seems to be getting worse.  I do not see things changing anytime soon.  For me, that means the year wait could easily move to 2 years...think of the backlog that will occur.
I don't think I can make it that long.  I am nearing the end of my tolerance.  I would like to look into the possibility of having the surgery  done in the United States.  AHHHH, it will take a life time to pay for that!  

Can anyone tell me what the cost of an osteochondral allograft will be in the U.S.?
Also, what would the wait times be like for a "cash" paying patient?

Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks.
Kari
1994: ACL reconstruction
Aug 2002:  Tibial Plateau fracture
July 2003:  Osteochondral allograft; 1 year non weight bearing

Offline neil

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Re: Options...can I go to a different country?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2003, 10:02:16 AM »
kari
i do not blame you for wanting to move ahead with surgery, it is your life on pause while you wait.  the cost would be the determining factor. i am sure you could get it done in the states , with cooperation from your dr i am sure somewhere iyou can find a surgeon. gtood luck in your search, i know of people who have had surgery in the states because they sought the best dr. . i was told by dr back in january i would have surgery and i am finally having it monday. there is a wait here , but if you search everywhere i think you will be successful. good luck and keep updated.
neil
9-13-02 - present, 4 surgeries to right knee. quad severed, piece of femoral condyle cut off, shaving of patella. had cartilage implant 9-22-03, fluid drain, cultures & manipulation10-21-03

Offline Janet

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Re: Options...can I go to a different country?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2003, 04:39:25 PM »
I don't know about the cost, but be sure to ask for a "deal." People with insurance never pay the full price, because the hospitals/doctors give discounts to the insurance companies. Make sure you ask if you can get the same discount.

As for the waiting time, it doesn't make any difference if you are paying cash. Since this will not be considered an emergency, it will probably take 1-3 months to get an initial appointment with a top-notch surgeon, and if surgery is scheduled the same day, it could take 4-8 weeks before surgery. With my current OS, I had to wait 2 months for an initial appointment, 7 weeks for a follow-up appointment, then 9 weeks for surgery.

It would at least be worth investigating, since time is ticking away! Which big American city are you closest to? Maybe someone here could give you a heads up on a really great OS.

Janet
Torn quad tendon repair & VMO advancement 4/99, MUA with LOA 10/99, Patella baja and arthrofibrosis, LR & medial release & LOA 5/01, LOA & chondroplasty 6/03,TKR on 11/06, MUA 12/06. From perfect knees to a TKR in 7 years, all from a fall on a wet floor...and early undiagnosed scar tissue.

Offline Kari

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Re: Options...can I go to a different country?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2003, 05:36:36 PM »
Thanks for the replies.  I was thinking Chicago would be a good choice for me.  I understand there are some great OSs at Rush.  I also have a friend that lives there, so I would have someone to stay with.
I am open to suggestions.  The idea of asking for a deal is a good one.  I forget that there is flexibility in the price you have to pay....it doesn't work that way in Canada.
Kari
1994: ACL reconstruction
Aug 2002:  Tibial Plateau fracture
July 2003:  Osteochondral allograft; 1 year non weight bearing

Iona_-Uk

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Re: Options...can I go to a different country?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2003, 08:56:02 PM »
Hi Kari

It may well be possible for your current OS to refer you to a friend or colleague that they know in Chicago or maybe someone here could recommend someone for you.

Cash paying patients are usually likely to get a discount, at the end of the day you are splashing out on this & I'm sure they'll b queuing up for your cutom which puts you in a better position to neogitiate.

Iona x

Offline cm

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Re: Options...can I go to a different country?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2003, 10:39:41 PM »
You never know with appointment times.   I waited almost two months recently to see a hand surgeon who ended up doing absolutely nothing for me and couldn't even provide any useful advice.    And I waited less than a week to see my new OS who scheduled my surgery for two days after we got the results of my MRI (which only took one day to schedule and 4 days to get results).    He may not be world renowned, but he certainly did a great job on my knee (I wanted to hug him when I went in for my follow-up!)  

I have no idea how many OS's do osteochondral allografts, so that may be a factor in scheduling.    It's worth a try anyway!  
Left knee ACL reconstruction w/hamstring graft and meniscus repair 10/00
Left knee bucket handle meniscus tear - partial meniscetomy 4/8/03

Offline enuff81020

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Re: Options...can I go to a different country?
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2003, 02:46:01 AM »
If you do go through with this, be cautious on what you end up  paying for--hopspitals in the US are notorious for tacking on any number of things that aren't quite right.  I was disgusted with a hospital bill I  had once and found about $1000 in charges that I knew weren't right--I called the insurance company to let them know and I was told that they simply pay the bills that they receive--if I wanted to argue any of it, I could, but they would pay it anyway.  (Why bother??)

Since it will be coming out of your pocket, just be careful--and I tried to tell the dingbats at the insurance company that it was stuff like he overcharging and erroneous stuff that makes insurance premiums go up, but they just weren't interested.

Oh my, Sylvia
Both kneesOA.
Scope on rt knee,9/00;2/01
scope w/ LR and debridement rt knee 2/02
left knee same5/02
Patellar problems
LeftTKR12/16/02
Right TKR7/14/03
Complications MUA 8/14/03
R TKR revisio















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