Truma injuries require trauma surgeons

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  • #3070 Reply
    Eileen
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    Hello all,

    I have been visiting this site for almost five months and am grateful for the support, especially in the early days. I thank you all (including the site host) and want to share the one most import thing you can do to help yourself…FIND A SPORTS TRAUMA ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON!

    If you have a TPF, and you want to remain active, you must hire a surgeon who will use the best techniques to repair both bone and soft tissue –this may take multiple surgeries. Most surgeons just put knees back together. If you can financially –and legally, in some countries–choose your physician, find a sports trauma orthopedic surgeon who rehabilitates athletes. If you are still in shock after your injury, enlist trusted family and friends to help you search for and schedule the best surgeon you can get.

    How do I know this?
    Ten weeks after my type II TPF was repaired with with hardware and bone material, my healing was going well, and my surgeon took me off PT and told me to go live my life. When he clarified that living my life involved never doing high impact activities again, I tried to get specific information about the uncorrected problems that would prevent me from dancing, running, riding, and hiking. He simply informed me that I had a “bad injury” and that he did not have further time to discuss my concerns. Although I continued rehabilitation, I lost mobility and developed new pain that prevented normal walking. I consulted another surgeon who suggested a knee trauma specialist. In my research, I have discovered that 90% of surgeons just put the knee back together; however, some surgeons perform specialized techniques developed for elite athletes. I don’t know yet what is wrong with my knee, whether it will heal, or whether further surgery is an option. I do know that before surgery I should have kept looking until I found a surgeon who didn’t think that people my age (55) should not be running anyway.

    May those of you who are struggling, find faith, family, and friendship to support you in your recovery.

    Eileen

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    • #3381 Reply
      Veronique
      Guest

      Hello Eileen,

      Up to now I have been seeing 4 knee surgeons in the area I live, all with a good reputation.
      All said that it was “normal” the healing took so long and no one could explain why I am in constant pain. No one gave me spontaneously much information. Every time I was on a consultation, I had my sheet of paper with questions and remarks. But they all, except doctor 4, beat about the bush. So I fear they might not have told me the truth.
      This top surgeon in another city is my last hope to receive an honest evaluation and the best possible treatment.

      All my life I have been trying to be considerate towards others, because I truly believe every act of kindness makes a better world.
      The car hit me on 3.12.3013 exactly because I was being kind to others! Had I taken care of myself, I would not have been hurt. On the busy and too narrow transit road in our community centre, nearly all cyclists ride on the pedestrian path, out of fear. So many people have been ran over on that road and there were 2 deadly accidents in 2012. This particular morning I already had started cycling on the foothpath, when I saw 3 pedestrians coming towards me. I thought I should not bother them, should ride on the road as I was supposed to. Only seconds later I was ran over by this car. Very wry, isn’t it?! I have been telling to myself over and over, why on earth I risked my life to give priority to others?! My fulfilling and active life has turned into hell. And this also affects my 92 year old mom, I take care of.
      She is disabled since 2000 due to a failed hip prothesis. That’s one of the reasons I am so afraid of a knee prothesis.

      Every time I drive, I give priority to at least one other driver, pedestrian or cyclist. And I take hitchhikers along, because they will be safe with. When I was young and had no car, drivers gave me a ride, so why not help others now on my turn?
      I can assure you this attitude, that I still think is a good one, hardly contributed to my well being and luck.
      I could fill pages with these kind of experiences, but this is not the topic of this site, right!?

      I can only conclude, like so many others: there is no such thing as justice on earth. Just study the world history and watch the daily news.
      The French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre said, “L’enfer c’est les autres” “Hell, are the others”.

      I look forward to meeting someone from Victim Help next week and I truly hope she can induce the woman who ran me over to meet me.
      The police court condemned her to be totally responsible. She has to pay a fine and her Insurance company has to refund all my costs and pay compensation for moral suffering and my disability degree. That is to be set on the medical expertise in a few months.
      But I want my health back, not money!
      And I would have preferred she did not have to pay a fine. But get the obligation to have her eyes checked, take some driving lessons and do some volunteer work in a revalidation centre.
      So she never ever causes another accident.

      Thanks again for your wise words.

    • #3368 Reply
      Eileen
      Guest

      Veronique,

      I sincerely believe you need to have a specialist for this injury, and I hope all goes well with your consultation.

      While you are waiting, try to help someone else in some small way that you had not planned. It may help you feel better to know you made someone else feel better.

      Eileen

    • #3361 Reply
      Veronique
      Guest

      Thanks for your reactions Eileen and Marion!

      I never heard of CPSD. It is, apparently also known under the name Sudeck disease (I knew this condition).
      Reading the symptoms I don’t think I have this ailment. Saw my physio yesterday, and he says it’s very unlikely.
      Anyway, I’ll ask my doctor.

      The 4th knee surgeon, with whom I continue my treatment now, only gives me 30-40% chance that I’ll walk normally and without pain once the internal hardware is removed. I have always expected that I would be able to take up my active life after this surgery. That all the misery I have gone through would eventually lead to the best possible recovery.
      From the day of my accidents, doctors have withheld information!
      I could go for an artificial knee right away, when the hardware is removed. But since placing this prosthesis will start with complications (due to the accident) and since I am mentally not ready for this at such an early age, I looked for a 5th opinion. Also, I am so frightened the operation will fail.

      So I made an appointment with a top Belgian knee surgeon, who has treated famous athletes and sees patients from abroad. Even if I am struck in the daily traffic jams for 2-3 hours just to drive 70 kms one way, it is worth the effort.

      More and more I begin to doubt whether my surgery was done correctly 11 months ago !
      Doctors protect each other and won’t say if a colleague made a mistake. A doctor from another city will be more inclined to talk frankly.
      I know 2 people who also had a tibial plateau fracture and none of them suffered pain, except when they overdid it during physiotherapy.
      They cannot understand I have been suffering non-stop from morning till evening for 11 months now.

      I’ll post another update in 5 weeks after this consultation.

    • #3288 Reply
      marion gibbins
      Guest

      have you looked into Algodystrophie or CPSD which is recognised in some countries and with some OS ,it is related to anger (believe me after my accident I had it in bucket loads ) swelling ,heat in affected areas .And burning after exercise ? In my case my physio takes every thing VERY gently and I STOP if I feel pain !It is working for me but sloooowly ..Good luck PM if you need help I am in the French health service so know of a few sites

    • #3285 Reply
      Eileen
      Guest

      Veronique,

      Life is often difficult, and healing of the mind is as important as physical healing. I hope you find strength on your journey.

      Eileen

    • #3283 Reply
      Veronique
      Guest

      Hello Lesley and Eileen,

      I had another week with a lot of pain, 6 appointments and bad news.

      Monday I had the ct-scan. As I am allergic to iodine, the radiologist took the scan without contrast dye.
      A relief and a pain free exam.

      Thursday I went to see knee surgeon 4, the one also specialized in sports trauma.
      The scan shows that my tibia healed well but that my kneecap is bone on bone, due to the osteoarthritis caused by the accident.
      My tibial plateau is still indented at the lateral side, not enough scar tissue has been formed.
      He said my problem can never be totally solved, only improve. And it is 90-100% sure I’ll need an artificial knee sooner or later.
      I was balanced until 2nd December, but due to the imbalance when walking, my pelvis is now 14 mm lower on my left side
      This could improve once the internal prosthesis is removed and I could also wear an arch support if needed.

      I have 2 options:
      Have the internal hardware removed in December.
      He only gave me 30-40% chance of success, meaning to walk normally and pain free. Due to the osteoarthritis.
      Could help to reduce the pain: hyaluron injections, a product that replaces joint fluid and reduces friction.
      Has anyone experience with hyaluron?

      Have the internal hardware removed and have an artificial knee right away.
      He added, taken into account my damaged knee, this operation involves complications.
      92-95 % of the prostheses have a lifespan of 15 years and the durability constantly improves.
      Largest risk is infection.

      I was devastated hearing the verdict. I am not at all mentally ready to have an artificial knee so early in my life.
      Suppose the operation fails and that I end up in a wheelchair like my mom?! Her hip prosthesis failed in 2000 and she has been disabled for 80%. It ruined her life but also mine, since I took her care on my shoulders.
      My family doctor told me that one of his patients, also a relatively young woman, had an infection on her artificial knee. It had to be removed and replaced by a temporary knee. Later on she has to be operated a 3rd time for another prosthesis. A nightmare.
      Since I haven’t enjoyed much luck in my life (4 times victim of a traffic accident, other adversities) I am frightened to death from having my knee replaced.
      Look how much the internal hardware has bothered me for 11 months (a burning, pushing sensation that increases as the day progresses).

      I am depressed and I cry nearly every day. Every step I take is inconvenient at best, but hurts most of the time.
      And this pains adds to the latent pain I feel from morning till evening and the burning sensation from the hardware that increases as the day progresses.
      Despite so much physio and hydrotherapy I have not improved since April.
      The only progress I made is that I can sit on my knees (not heels) in the hydro pool. Doctor says I can now try this out of water.
      But I want to walk, to be free, to be independent, to go to places!
      Due to my lack of mobility I had only a few enjoyable moments this year and I am tied to the house most of the time.

      The woman who caused the accident ruined my life. I was in such good health until 2.12.2014 !
      I went to see Victim Help, free service organised by the Commmunity of Flanders. I need support, cannot continue alone.
      A psychologist will visit me in 10 days. I requested to organize a meeting with this woman.
      I want her to know what she did, she cannot continue ostrich policy, not wanting to know.
      Unfortunately no one can force her to meet me.
      In Belgium it is always the perpetrator who is protected best !!
      Before my case started, I witnessed a few cases at the Police Court. One man had caused 4 accidents, due to alcohol intoxication. One of the accidents was deadly. He was there for a 5th time!! I think that anyone has a right on a second chance. But this man caused 2 extra accidents because he was allowed to continue driving. How much lives has he ruined?! Did not hear whether he now had caused a 5th accident or had been arrested for driving under influence.
      Hell is on earth, life is unfair.

    • #3145 Reply
      Veronique
      Guest

      Hello Eileen and Lesley,

      Doctors always minimise risks of exams and operations! A ct-scan requires between 1000-2000 times the radiation of a conventional xr. I was told the dye is slightly radioactive.
      Radiation causes cancer. I only read a couple of weeks ago that 15% of all pneumonia cancers are caused by medical radiation.
      All that chemical stuff bombarded into and up your body can’t be healthy at all!
      Western medicine is invasive and brutal compared to the holistic approach of complementary medicine. But with the kind of fractures we have, Western conventional medicine is of course the only possible treatment.

      As I have been eating organic, natural food since more than 35 years, I react fastly and often strongly to chemical agents and sugar. Every time I eat quality organic chocolate, my sight dimishes within minutes (the sugar expands the eye blood vessels). If you are sensitive to what is bad for you, it is a benefit. But at the same time it can be a disadvantage. Which could be the case with this exam. So I hope the pain will be bearable and that all goes well.

      I intend to spend most of Monday afternoon outside, seems better than staying inside with a polluted body. I will also drink miso soup, which helps eliminating radioactivity from your body.

      End of next week, after my appointment with my 4th surgeon, I’ll give you an update.
      Thanks again for your encouraging words! I am so grateful and Lucky I found this site.

    • #3112 Reply
      Eileen
      Guest

      Veronique,

      You seem to have been through so much. I understand why you don’t want an artificial knee. Is the dye really radioactive? What are the risks?

      Keep getting new information. (Cartilage surgery for athletes? http://www.hss.edu/newsroom_new-procedure-fixing-damaged-cartilage.asp.)

      Heal well,
      Eileen

    • #3104 Reply
      Lesley
      Guest

      Hi Veronique,
      Good luck for next week. You deserve a positive prognosis. I truly hope it all goes well for you after all you have been through.
      Thinking of you.
      Lesley

    • #3103 Reply
      Veronique
      Guest

      Hello Eileen,

      You’ve become the best “experience-expert” of this forum!
      The Dutch translation refers to someone who acquired a lot of experience, often by trial and error, in dealing with social or medical problems. As opposed to the specialists.
      I meanwhile became “een ervaringsdeskundige” in dealing with the medical, emotional, administrative and legal problems after an accident. I rather die than having to go through this agony for a 5th time. This is the 4th time I am the victim of a traffic accident, always in my right as stated by witnesses.

      You are indeed right: in Belgium too there are knee surgeons and knee surgeons who also specialized in sports trauma with athletes.
      The 4th doctor I consulted is a knee sports trauma orthopedic surgeon. My own doctor, and opinion 2 and 3 refused to defend my case during the medical expertise organized by the police court (in a few months). As a victim of a traffic accident with lasting disabilities, the expertise (with medical expert appointed by court, my doctor, the doctor of the insurance company of the counterparty) will determine my degree of handicap and the financial compensation I am entitled to.

      The 4 doctors I consulted told me I’ll never be able to run or jump again. Whether I’ll be able to sit on my knees/heels, do mountain hikes, … is still unclear to all of them.
      But I desperately want to sit on my knees and heels again!! I used to sit on my knees to clean, garden, do yoga and give shiatsu massages. Well, to live my life!

      Since 3 doctors refused to defend my interests, I had to look for someone else. And luckily this 4th knee surgeon who accepted the job, is also a sports trauma orthopedic surgeon!
      2 weeks ago I consulted this doctor. He found it abnormal that after more than 10 months I still can’t walk with a bent knee, despite intense physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. And that I have not had 1 pain free day for more than 10 months. I still need a crutch when walking 5-10 minutes. Did not made any progress since April.

      He ordered a ct scan with contrast dye. This will show whether I have made scar tissue inside the indented cartilage or not and will make clear whether I will finally improve once the internal hardware is removed in December. He said it is 100% sure I’ll need a knee replacement sooner or later. Maybe even in December when the internal prosthesis is removed.
      But I don’t want an artificial knee!! The thought alone to have a “foreign object” inside me and all the risks involved. Furthermore you cannot sit on your knees/heels with a prosthesis.

      I am very scared of the ct exam: of the pain the dye injection will cause in my knee and the fact that I’ll have a radioactive product in my body.
      I’ll give an update end of next week, after exam and appointment.

    • #3078 Reply
      Christina
      Guest

      Love this. I’ve seen three orthopedic surgeons so far:

      #1: very competent, but WAY too conservative for my mindset and offers too general of a course of treatment.

      #2: talked to me like an adult from the start, even if a little brief on the details. Specializes in knees and treats aggressively.

      #3: has seen a rash of TPFs this year. What I love most is her bedside matter, which is thorough, gentle, soft and fully explanatory.

      Which one am I leaning on going with?

      The second. Although I liked the third’s approach the best, Eileen, you said it best when results matter. This OS is young, one of the top knee doctors in Toronto (partially because he’s young and an up-and-comer), and has the same mindset as me, which is to get me back to a high level of energy and activity.

      The third doctor, when I asked her if there was anything we could do far earlier than normal because my auto insurance is paying for physio, said no, there’s nothing to do. She only told me to alter my lifestyle a bit and avoid open-chain exercises. I need an OS who’s willing to take risks with me, and your post perfectly outlines why.

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