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Author Topic: Views of symptoms and Wait times for NHS?  (Read 1660 times)

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Offline OldBoyReturns

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Views of symptoms and Wait times for NHS?
« on: July 14, 2004, 02:16:32 AM »
2 weeks ago I had a heavy fall after slipping on sand running backwards playing tennis on a carpet court. I twisted and fell on my leg and sprained an ankle (now OK) and injured my knee. After 2 weeks the knee has stabilised at a state without major swelling but with restricted movement (I cannot straighten the last 15 degrees) and pain if twisted or pressure applied to inside of lower leg. My amateur online research suggests I have damaged or dislodged a miniscus. Basically all I can do is limp slowly which is causing me real problems as I run a small business alone and part of the work is physical. I also love active sport and am only 35.

Saw my GP a week ago. She did not diagnose but mentioned possibility of arthropscopic surgery and got me an 'urgent' appointment with the Special Knee Clinic at Bristol Royal Infirmary for next week. Can anyone suggest from experience the time frames I am looking at on the NHS for treatment following this appointment. I have already established that the clinic is out-patient only and any surgery would be at a different Bristol hospital.

I desparately need to get this fixed and have got a price of about £3,000 (which I cannot really afford) for a diagnosis and op (if necessary) from a private sports injury hospital specialising in knees.

Also any views on my symptoms greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Offline cgski

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Re: Views of symptoms and Wait times for NHS?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2004, 03:10:25 AM »
Last week my NHS OS put me down for an urgent arthroscopy - and was given the date today - 7th Sept - ie 2 months - the routine wait list for this type of surgery is over 9 months. (injury in Feb this year.....). Good luck - take a good and thick book to read when you do go to the clinic, and don't worry about being a bit assertive, it helps!  cgski

Offline OldBoyReturns

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Re: Views of symptoms and Wait times for NHS?
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2004, 04:07:46 PM »
Thanks cgski and funnybone.

A 9 month wait would be a disaster for me as I need a functional knee to run my business and I also have a baby and toddler who I share the childcare of with my wife. Currently I can hardly lift a baby and certainly can't carry one safely up or downstairs. My knee feels pretty unstable and any sudden movement gives a sharp pain. My wife had something similar while a student and while waiting for treatment her knee gave way walking down stairs resulting in a bad fall and emergency open knee surgery. It is unthinkable that would happen to me while carrying a baby. Just hope I can convince the NHS that this is effectively an emergency given my financial and family circumstances.

Would be interested to know how you coped with a 9 month wait following a meniscus tear. Also the rehab must be much longer after such a long period without full mobility or proper exercise.

Offline wimple

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Re: Views of symptoms and Wait times for NHS?
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2004, 05:35:23 PM »
Hi,
I agree with the other posts here and would also add that the waiting time is normally from the referral date to the consultant or hospital,not from your injury date, hence I have just waited 16 months since damaging my knee (suspected torn meniscus, torn MCL etc) I had my arthroscopy last week, but according to the official lists, I have only waited a year as the referral was done in July rather than in the march when I had the accident. Hope this doesn't sound too down,but when looking at the web sites for waiting times etc it does help to realise that they all go by referral date.
As for dealing with a baby - I have a 2 and a half year old who was just over one when this started, so can appreciate your problems, try to get some help if possible, you probably won't be able to lift them for a while and post op would also be a problem, I don't know if an organisation called Home Start operate in your area, but they can sometimes help in these situations. Also, when you see the consultant, try to find out how they have prioritised you, I discovered after waiting for ages that I was listed as routine non urgent, so basically at the bottom of a rather long list, the only people who can get this priority changed is the consultant or your gp, so ask this question whilst you  are in the appointment!!! Also, if they have a list for short notice cancellations, make sure your name is on it as it can make a lot of difference to the amount of time you have to wait.  Phew... sorry that was so long, hope it helps

Offline ScottieP

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Re: Views of symptoms and Wait times for NHS?
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2004, 05:55:01 PM »
Hi, i personally gave up with the nhs with just my diagnosis never lone to have an operation was seeing them for a year and half, in the end i went private to the Droitwich Knee Clinic in Worcester, although it was nt cheap, i would strongly recommend this place, ive had plica's from each knee removed cost me £3500 in total for the both, sorry if this sounds down on the nhs im sure some people have been happy with the service but this is just my experience..

Offline OldBoyReturns

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Re: Views of symptoms and Wait times for NHS?
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2004, 09:24:24 PM »
Thanks funnybone - so looks like my best tactic is to get diagnosis from NHS specialist next week (I seem to be lucky to have got this appointment within 3 weeks of injury and 2 weeks of seeing GP) and then try to finance private op as, to be honest, even if I get a 'short' 2 month wait on NHS that is too long.

funnybone - could you straighten your leg? Or did the range of movement come back over time pre-op? Mine won't straighten the last 15 degrees which is the biggest problem with walking / limping as I just can't get any pace up. This has not improved in the 3 weeks since I fell.

Am feeling a bit more hopeful having read that Ally McCoist was plaiyng football agian 2 weeks after an op on his meniscus.

Offline Wirral Bagpuss

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Re: Views of symptoms and Wait times for NHS?
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2004, 03:06:40 AM »
Interesting read this! When i finally met the knee specialist i advised i could only use public transport as i did not drive. I expalined i walked to work every day and said i needed to be able to walk. He accepted this and i was put on the priorty list!! :) It does pay to be assertive and yes i have looked at the possibilty of doing it on BUPA but £3-5,000 is alot of money for me especially as i earn less than £15,000 per year!!! :(  
Partial Meniscus Ligament Tear: Repaired Oct 2004

Complete ACLTear:  ACL  Reconstruction March 2005

Offline OldBoyReturns

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Re: Views of symptoms and Wait times for NHS?
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2004, 11:33:54 AM »
Thanks for all the replies. Saw the NHS OS (well actually his registrar) last Tuesday. He diagnosed a torn medial meniscus with a 'flap' caught in the joint causing the locking. Was told NHS wait list was 4-6 months (even though I need a strong leg to work) or that the OS could do it privately and was given the OS's private secretary's phone number. Anyway I made the call and am booked in for a private arthroscopy today which will relieve me of our summer holiday funds. Will report back on success of op.

Offline OldBoyReturns

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Re: Views of symptoms and Wait times for NHS?
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2004, 07:12:45 PM »
Had my private arthroscopy yesterday afternoon and now back home following overnight in hospital. The treatment and service I received was outstanding and I already have my leg straight and am walking better than before the op. The pain /swelling isn't too bad (with the help of painkillers)  so I am able to do light physio exercises already. As expected the surgeon found a large bucket handle tear to the medial meniscus with the 'handle' fouling the joint - hence the locking. It is amazing how much muscle range and strength I have lost from having the knee locked (first and last 10 degrees of range impossible) for the past 4 weeks since my fall but the fully inclusive fixed price I paid includes all necessary physio and OS follow up so I should get it back within 4 weeks if I put the work in. I hate to think what sort of state I would be in after a 9 month NHS wait for the op. In fact I asked the physio and she said it doesn't even bear thinking about.

Thankyou everyone for your advice which has helped me to make the right decision.

Offline heather k from wales

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Re: Views of symptoms and Wait times for NHS?
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2004, 12:13:48 AM »
Hi OldBoyReturns, Im really glad you got yourself sorted out.  Like you, I just couldnt wait the ridiculous waiting times of the NHS.
Please check carefully about the all inclusive that you had.  I had all inclusive with BUPA, 3 weeks ago and the only physio which was included was whilst in hospital, a walk along the corridor with crutches and up and down stairs.  That was it!  The 2 physio sessions after were charged for at £32 for each 30 min session, and the dressings were removed by myself and a plaster was put on each scope hole for £3!.
Luckily I managed to get into NHS physio very soon after.
I really hope you have the physio included, but please double check.

Good Luck with your recovery,

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















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