Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A friendly tip to medical professionals..

If you have a patient, who presents with an injury that you cannot figure out or diagnose maybe being flippant and dismissive isn't the correct tact. Perhaps a bit of humility.

A couple weeks ago, I got fed up waiting for my knee to magically get better. I went back to the doctor, scheduled an appointment with a PT and generally did my best to be proactive in getting this thing fixed. The doc ordered a MRI, and the PT (a good friend) opined that I had damaged my meniscus, would probably need surgical intervention. Yet the MRI yielded no evidence of any tears.. nothing. Instead of prescribing more PT or some other intervention the Doctor's advise was "go back and train, if it happens again come back and see me, or go visit one of these surgeons." No further advise, no discussion of his own complete FAILING to come up with a specific diagnosis. Just a shrug and a "go fish."
Hey, thanks for nothing doc.
So here we are again. Brand new black belt, still haven't really trained in it yet, and I have no idea, no way of knowing what's wrong, or how to fix it.. or if it can be fixed. All I have a questions:
  1. Will it ever be functional? 
  2. If so, do I just need to see another doc? 
  3. Do I need surgery? 
  4. Do I just need to let it rest? If rest, how long?
  5. Is it a nerve problem? Could be.. if so then am I damaging the nerve? 
  6. Am I done with jiu jitsu? A sad possibility, but a possibility none the less.
  7. What about Judo? Maybe I can get back to Judo?
  8. Is it going to get better? Is it only going to get worse?
I'm exasperated. It is mid-May and I haven't trained hard in 6 months.
This sucks.



SICP white belt said...

Sorry to hear this is still happening. I think medicine is a lot like engineering, you do your best to diagnose problems but there is no golden test, just interpretation. That said, if your knowledge leaves you blank throwing up your hands is not the way to go...
Are you seeing a "sport" doctor? The UW hospital has a few. I was thinking about seeing one a few months ago when my wrist was not doing so hot. It ended up healing on its own (I hope), but I was thinking there is no way I am seeing a generalist about injuries, they would not understand the need and desire to get back out there.
I definitely understand the frustration. During the year and half I was not grappling, it was hard to see pictures, videos, etc...
Let us know how other consultations go. And you're not done with BJJ yet, I still have to test my new and improved World's Strongest Man style on your black belt technique.

J.B. said...

Exactly my point.

Yeah this was one of the guys from UW sports med. He's the doc for the M's so he should know what is what.

thanks man. Looking forward to it.

Georgette said...

Dude. a VERY similar thing kept happening to my good friend and brownbelt (now training at Foster's) Scott R. His knee would get fully LOCKED, but MRIs revealed nothing, nothing, nothing wrong.

Turns out he had a very odd tear in the meniscus which normally laid in the correct place so an MRI revealed nothing... but the little torn flap would squidge around, and sometimes get stuck in the hinge. If they'd MRId at that moment they'd have seen it.

EMail me if you want Scott's contact info.

J.B. said...

Thanks Georgette,
I've met Scott.. I think. He and his Mrs. were at our school right after I hurt it. I heard he ended up down at Foster's.
I am pretty sure that's exactly the same deal I'm working with. I'm looking for docs to get a second opinion.