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Author Topic: NHS much improved for knees  (Read 801 times)

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Offline kneesurgeonvictim

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NHS much improved for knees
« on: July 16, 2012, 09:12:34 AM »
The NHS is now brilliant for knee treatments!

My first experience of private medical treatment for knees was with a  surgeon who recommended the MACI operation on me, a patient with a blocked knee and an asymptomatic cartilage defect without informing me of all risks of second stage operation prior to the first operation taking place and without even handing me a patient information sheet on MACI. On complaining I felt I was ostracised by the knee clinic and although I continued to have physio treatment with someone who I thought was on my side, under their 'care' my knee muscles wasted away to a point where I could hardly walk.

To be fair to private clinics, I went to another and was lucky enough to find an excellent consultant and brilliant physiotherapist. But there is always the risk when approaching clinics you don't know that you may find a private consultant recommending expensive inappropriate treatment. Even clinics with hitherto excellent reputations cannot necessarily be trusted because clinic owners may sell to individuals who may recommend inappropriate treatments, or enter into secret agreements with suppliers for secret commissions.

In comparison the NHS has so many procedures and safety nets in operation, and GPS are now able to buy knee treatments from local private clinics but with NHS overseeing the programme that I now consider NHS far superior. I mean, why have the risk of going to a private knee clinic and possibly be unfortunate enough to see a knee surgeon who may be more focused on his (or her) career and profit than their patients when your GP has probably already purchased a range of knee services and operations from private providers and you can have the safety net of NHS oversight with the benefit of private healthcare?

The knee treatment I have had from the NHS is as good as the best  have had from private clinics but without the risk that the knee surgeon may recommend an inappropriate operation.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 12:48:52 PM by kneesurgeonvictim »

Offline Lottiefox

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Re: NHS much improved for knees
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2012, 12:04:20 PM »
I think this is a difficult point to make generalisations on. Much as I agree that the NHS can and does provide outstanding care (eg some of the hugely complex reconstructions cited on here by members with catastrophic injury damage) there is also a wide prevalence of surgeons or their trainees in the NHS who simply cannot deviate from the textbook and may end up doing more harm than good with "exploratory" scopes with little actual value or clear treatment plans. Certainly the follow up on the NHS is often desperately lacking and does not react to when things go wrong or pick up on issues that are actually very salient; they simply don't see people enough or follow them up with the same surgeon that might have done the op. I think in some private systems you are more fortunate to be able to consult, deal with and then have rapid access to the surgeon that actually did your operation. Of course if you have issues with what has been recommended or done it is of little value which system the doctor is located in - private or NHS.

In terms of my own knee issues I have paid for consults and non surgical treatment. Ditto with a foot issue where I did have surgery and it was only because I was able to phone up the consultant's sec, have her page him in surgery and him agree to see me after his operating rota that day as an emergency that my nasty complications were picked up so rapidly. I am afraid they would not have been diagnosed and treated so effectively had I not had that route. Is this unfair on people who aren't paying or have insurance cover? Possibly. But  am glad my foot wasn't in the hands of a newly qualified and over worked surgical trainee in the NHS in all honesty as they simply would not have the resources and experience to diagnose.

There will always be surgeons who might be swung into recommending things they have links with, or wish to endorse and research. I don't think this is always just found in private practice. On the flip side, NHS budget restrictions mean that often the most effective drugs are denied for a condition because of costs (eg Parkinsons Disease is a current example in some post codes).

Just wanted to try and balance the issue a little...
Bilateral patella OA since 2009, no surgeries.
Euflexxa working well x3 to current
Right forefoot CRPS post fusion surgery 2011
Refusing to let the ailing parts stop me....

Offline kneesurgeonvictim

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Re: NHS much improved for knees
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2012, 03:57:29 PM »
I suppose it depends which GP you're with. All my GP's knee cases are sent to a private clinic , and if a knee operation is needed the private clinic does the operation. In my cases NHS reforms have been massively beneficial, but this is because my GP is so good.