I had problems with my right knee back in Sept 2009 and my GP referred me to an Orthopaedic Surgeon at a private hospital here in the UK. I was one of the lucky ones who had medical insurance through my work so I didn’t have to wait 18 weeks to see someone on the NHS. This Orthopaedic surgeon barely examined my knee all he did was bend and straighten it. He decided that I had a torn meniscus cartilage. He didn’t send me for an x-ray or an MRI.
My surgery was scheduled for 3 weeks later. On the day of surgery when he eventually arrived in my room for me to sign my consent form he had his back to me the whole time. He didn’t explain the procedure or what the risks were for an arthroscopy. Infact he told me nothing…..it was a good job I had done my research on the procedure.
I woke up from surgery with a nurse leaning over me saying “it was a bit more complicated than we first thought” Basically he had found a piece of bone hanging off the end of my femur in the weight bearing part of my knee which he had screwed back on………my meniscus cartilage had nothing wrong with them!!
What makes me angry is that he never sent me for an x-ray or even an MRI before hand that would have clearly shown the penny sized piece of bone. And he certainly did not discuss with me the possibility of a broken femur. I later got a copy of my medical notes from the hospital and read what my referring GP had written to him initially. In it he had explained that upon examination I really did not like the standard McMurrays test for cartilage tears as I was in pain. The surgeon had copied this into his reply letter back to my GP even though he never actually performed a McMurrays test on me himself when I first saw him!!!!
I feel that by sending me straight for surgery would have lined his pocket where as sending me for x-rays or MRI’s would have been billed to the hospital and not him!
I spent months on crutches and even when I went to follow up appointments he barely said a word to me.
Before I left the hospital that day I photographed the surgical notes on my iPhone and looked it all up on the Internet……turns out I have Osteochondritis Dissecans and when I asked him if it was that only then did he confirm it!
Is it any wonder why so many patients look things up on the Internet when the treating clinicians don’t communicate important things to their patients!