Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Orthopedic Surgeons

A couple weeks ago, I had an MRI because I’ve had some knee pain.  I had asked for a CD of the MRI to look at on my own and something strange showed up:


I didn’t pay much attention to it at the time because I actually thought it was some kind of artifact from MRI itself.

Today I went to the orthopedic surgeon for a follow-up.  His diagnosis:

  1. It’s not cancer (uhhhh… that’s good, because I hadn’t even thought of that)
  2. It’s a bone bruise.

He said something like:  “How’d you get a bone bruise?  We usually see that in football players.”  Answer:  I have no clue.  I assume it was in a basketball game when I collided with someone else’s knee, which happens every so often.

Anyway, I had never heard of a bone bruise, so I asked him a bunch of questions about it.  For example:  can I play basketball; should I ice it every day; should I do more physical therapy… etc.

The whole time I was asking these questions, he basically wanted to get out of there like a he was on a blind date with Ted Kaczynski.  He offered me no advice other than “just let the pain tell you when to stop” and “take some motrin before you play.”  After all that running around, physical therapy, MRI, etc., it was essentially a useless consult.

I told my wife about this and she’s like “Yeah, a lot of orthopedic surgeons are like that.”  I started thinking about this more and it actually makes a lot of sense.  There are pretty much two options for an orthopedic surgeon:

  1. Standard stuff like painkillers, ice, physical therapy.
  2. Surgery.

And that’s it!  It’s not like a regular doctor where there are all kinds of additional tests they might run, or different drugs they can prescribe to help.  The only drug they can prescribe that makes any sense is a painkiller.  Other than that, it’s the knife.  So if they already know it’s not the knife, they might as well try to get out of there as fast as possible so they can make their tee time.



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