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Author Topic: Age discrimination by my OS  (Read 2121 times)

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Offline LadyLeprechaun

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Age discrimination by my OS
« on: August 20, 2011, 05:02:36 PM »
I've been fighting for my knee surgery for several years. I need a TTT, which my current OS has told me twice that I need. He got me ready for surgery and I thought for sure I'd finally get my life back, after being a prisoner to knee pain for 20yrs. However, when the time came to do the surgery, his final decision was 'I will not perform ANY surgery on you. You're only 31 and that makes you a bad candidate for surgery'. Literally, in a matter of only 2wks time he went from 'I want to do a TTT to fix your maltracking. You have the knee of an 80yr old and you're too young to live like this' to the above quote. How can he say I'm too young to live disabled, then say I'm too young for the surgery? I've seen 14yr olds up to 40yr olds have a TTT, and I'm the average age for it! He then tells me that my only 'cure' is chronic pain management. I will NOT 'manage' pain when what's causing it is being ignored and not fixed! Yeah, turn me into a chronic pill popper (more than I already am) so in 10yrs you can say 'You can't have the surgery because of your "drug" habit'!!! By that time I will have been in a wheelchair for 9yrs at age 40. Can he REALLY discriminate based on age when disability knows no age? Is there any way I can fight this and get my life back?! I'm in central VA, USA if anyone knows a good OS in my area that will treat me like a person w/a life to live, and not $$ signs. :(
1991- MisDX Chondromalacia
1992-97- Continued Worsening Pain
2000- Failed LR Both Knees
2002- Failed PT
2003- Dx Severe Patella Lateral Tilt
2006- PT Learned to Walk Again
2011- Euflexxa for Grade 4 Chondro
1/06/2012-Fulkerson, LR, and Scope, I'm FINALLY fixed!!

Offline KW

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Re: Age discrimination by my OS
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2011, 05:31:36 PM »
I have a feeling this is not as much about age as it is about your OS not being comfortable dealing with patella femoral instability/pain issues.  You really want a PF Specialist dealing with the issue to make sure you get the right procedure for the issue and not just a TTT because that is what a general knee OS know how to do. 

Try reading some of the older posts by Crankerchick.  She was scheduled for a TTT but after doing a bunch of research and a trip to a OS in Dallas, TX she found out that not only would the TTT have been the wrong procedure  but would have made things worse.  Crankerchick has posted a wealth of information on patella femoral issues.

Best of luck.
Right Knee
2000 - 2002 - Scope,LR,TTT,Unscrewed
01-10-12 - PFJR

Left Knee
04/07 TTT/LR
08/07 Bone Grth Stim
10/07 Loose/Bent Screw
1/08 Unscrewed/MRI~NON-UNION
02/19/08 Lt  TTT Revision W/Graft
12/09/08 Scope
05/15/09 Scope
09/04/09 PFJR/Unscrewed

Offline subwayknees

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Re: Age discrimination by my OS
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2011, 06:36:34 PM »
I know nothing about your age as it is related to this specific surgery, however I do know after many years in pain management that smoe doctors do not like to do surgery on opiate dependent patients who are taking persscribed opiates/   I had a docter whimp out a week before major surgery number 12 on my knee, saying that since I was taking too high a  dose of opiates before surgery he did not feel he could manage my post op pain relief.  I was later told by my pain doc that many orthopedic surgeons feel like that and that teaching hospitals are the best places to manage post op pain for opiate dependent patients.  That said I live in Northern Virginia.  I have seen over 10 surgeons in many practices from Pittsburg to Baltimore.  The one I am presently referredd to Commonwealth Orthopedics has eight or ten locations throughout Northern Va., and the specific doc I am seeing is presently the orthopedic surgeon for The Washington Redskins NFL Football team.  They have offices in Reston, Herndon etc.  I would suggest calling them and asking the receptionist which one of their fifteen something docs specializes in your area.  They have an excellent reputation.  There is also a Dr. Brown, Chair of the Orthopedic Dept at U.V.A. in Charlottsville, Va.  I have not met him, but he did a great job replacing and rebuilding the entire structure of a friends knee.  The other suggestion is the famous Anderson Orthopedic Clinic,  Dr's Ehng, (google them) run a fantastic orthopedic practice with fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons.  The only problem I have with them is that they practice out of a 40 something year old hospital, in a not so nice area, all patient rooms are shared, no private rooms available, although they are adding on.  Also because of the area they are located in by an older low income section of Alexandria, Va.  a major number of their staff do not speak english as their first language and they have I have noticed, having looked at them as a possibility for revision surgery, a very uneducated and loud support staff, from food service, lab techs, and even some nurses.  While the doctors are excellent it was a bit like a third world hospital.  I actually saw  an elderly patient fall out of a wheelchair while only one non english speaking staff member was standing over him on the pavement not knowing what to do.  He was being discharged and fell getting into an ambulance type Van.  I had to go inside and ask a volunteer to call for help and it took over five minutes for anycome to come.  By then some staff members returning from break helped the poor man up and into the car.  I called the Hospital Administrator and while she did return my call saying she would look into the issue, I never got a return call.  The Hospital is Mt. Vernon Hospital, so while the docs at The Anderson Clinic are excellent I would be carfule about the hospital.   I would say 100% that UVA or Commonwealth Ortho would be my to choices the others only if I did not feel great about the first two.  Good luck
 
The final suggestion is a Dr. Audrea Wynn, in Woodstock, Va.  She works out of a rather small hospital but is highly skilled on structural surgery.  With 20 years of practice and a Residency at Cleveland Clinic she knows her stuff.  In the arena of full disclosure, she did perform my first total knee replacement in 2001, and saved my leg after a very bad infection, 23 days in hospital, on the other side however back about 5 years ag0 she had a streak of bad luck and had a series of back to back malpractice suits, all of which were settled,  one was very ugly and ended I think? in the death of a patient, but the patient I do not think was under here direct care at the time. This is all public record on the internet.  The only reason I mention her is that since that time when she left the practice she was in and regrouped I understand she is back on top of her game, and when she is focused she does excellent work.  I recently consulted her on my revision matter. She was upfront and said she would not do revisions at the small hospital she was at now but she gave me some very good advice.  I would have no problem using her for ligament of structural issues, and she is very easy going and nice to deal with
Any other info let me know, I have been around the Northern Virginia orthopedic community for quite some time as a patient and Iave what I think are some well founded feelings about some docs and hospitals in the area.

Offline amoler

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Re: Age discrimination by my OS
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2011, 06:40:43 PM »
I have heard some decent things about an OS in NorVa called Ain. I don't know if he specializes in PFS tho'. I don't know how much of a drive that is for you. I've also been eyeballing the Stone Clinic in CA. They have a remote consultation thing available. One more option I've been looking at.
'77- Rt knee menicus tear
'90 -2nd menscus tear
'91 -failed arthroscopy/partial menisectomy
patella dislocation 10/ 2010
Dx = grade 4 chondromalacia + synovitis + Meniscus tear + lax strained medial ligaments
Fall down the stairs 7/20/11 - mcl sprain + 2 meniscus tears

Offline subwayknees

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Re: Age discrimination by my OS
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2011, 08:35:00 PM »
Re Dr. Ain, if he does his surgery in Reston, Va., he is the same doctor who operated on my mother twice after she fell and broke her hip in her early 80's about twenty years ago.  As I recall he was a very nice and understanding doctor, but certinly not in the top tier of orthopedic surgeons for complex work.  He was a good general OS.  The doctor I was thinking most about is the one I am seeing at Commonwealth Orthopedics.  His name is Dr. Chris Annunziata.  Pedigree, Fellowship trained at University of Pittsburg under Dr's Freddy Fu, and Lawrence Crosett, two of the top nationally rated knee men in the country.  Did a residency in Georgetown Med School and is now on their teahing staff.

While I will not be having my first appointment with him until this Friday, Aug. 26 he has been highly recommended, even by the head of the Dept. of Orthopedic Surgery at John Hopkins, Dr. Mears.  I would let him do my complex revision however Hopkins is over two hours from my home and I know I will need local follow up after this surgery as it is really two in one,  a total knee revision and then a complete reconstruction with grafts of the remaining ligament structure.  I do not want to be very far from the doc after that much work. If I decided on the Hospital For Specal Surgery in Manhattan, N.Y., I have family I can stay with for a month until I can switch follow up to a Virginia M.D.  For some cases I would not mind a doctor a good distance away if I felt it was a matter of utilizing his experience in the O.R. and then having someone else supervise recovery, but i would not recommend with if the surgery will require a lot of follow up and there is a high probility of complications.  I do not know exactly what this young lady will be facing but with all said and done she my be better finding someone locally if she will need a lot of follow up, if it is just several hours in the O.R., a day or two in hospital and normal recovery then I would think the best guy even if it means some travel would be who to go with.

Offline LadyLeprechaun

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Re: Age discrimination by my OS
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2011, 10:49:58 PM »
Thank you all for your input! My OS is the head of Sports Medicine at VCU/MCV. It's a teaching hospital. He has a VERY impressive resume, having traveled the world conducting seminars on PF. He's the official OS of the VCU Rams, and traveled with them to Texas this past April when they made it to The Final Four (which pushed my appt with him back 10 days). He was also the official OS to The Goodwill Games in Russia 1994. He's the BEST surgeon in central VA. I'm not opiate-dependant, or even addicted to anything! I've been off all pain meds for 9yrs, and recently just started taking them again last month. I'm still not sure why he's denying me ANY surgery, after telling me I need it. I had a LR done on both knees in 2000 which failed and made me worse :( I have a 'course of action' so-to-speak. I have an appt at Tuckahoe Ortho on Monday with an OS I actually haven't seen yet. If that fails, I'm going to Commonwealth Ortho. I got excited when I researched orthos the other day and heard they're the docs of the Redskins (I'm a life-long fan lol). If that fails, I'll contact TLC and Discovery health, tell them my story, and let the OS find me :) Once again, thank you all for your help, and I hope to come back Monday with good news! I look forward to meeting all of you during my journey ;Dst started taking them again last month. I'm still not sure why he's denying me ANY surgery, after telling me I need it. I had a LR done on both knees in 2000 which failed and made me worse :( I have a 'course of action' so-to-speak. I have an appt at Tuckahoe Ortho on Monday with an OS I actually haven't seen yet. If that fails, I'm going to Commonwealth Ortho. I got excited when I researched orthos the other day and heard they're the docs of the Redskins (I'm a life-long fan lol). If that fails, I'll contact TLC and Discovery health, tell them my story, and let the OS find me :) Once again, thank you all for your help, and I hope to come back Monday with good news! I look forward to meeting all of you during my journey ;D
1991- MisDX Chondromalacia
1992-97- Continued Worsening Pain
2000- Failed LR Both Knees
2002- Failed PT
2003- Dx Severe Patella Lateral Tilt
2006- PT Learned to Walk Again
2011- Euflexxa for Grade 4 Chondro
1/06/2012-Fulkerson, LR, and Scope, I'm FINALLY fixed!!

Offline LadyLeprechaun

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Re: Age discrimination by my OS
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2011, 01:12:46 AM »
I had my 1st appt w/my new OS today and I must say, it went GREAT! He's very understanding and patient w/a wonderful bedside manner. His nurse and 1 of his students were in the room the entire time, and the entire staff couldn't be more pleasant to be around! Upon seeing my x-rays, he said 'You have a severe lateral tilt, your patella is hanging over the edge of your groove, and almost dislocated on the x-ray table.' He then said the basics of what surgery I need, and he was happy to know I've done my research and didn't have to use layman terms with me lol. I said 'Yes, it's a Fulkerson/TTT Osteotomy' and he just smiled :) I'm scheduled for another MRI this week, and hopefully surgery w/in the next 2wks! I truly can't wait!!!
1991- MisDX Chondromalacia
1992-97- Continued Worsening Pain
2000- Failed LR Both Knees
2002- Failed PT
2003- Dx Severe Patella Lateral Tilt
2006- PT Learned to Walk Again
2011- Euflexxa for Grade 4 Chondro
1/06/2012-Fulkerson, LR, and Scope, I'm FINALLY fixed!!















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