Monday, June 15, 2015

The Hip Chronicles: Initial Appointment with the Orthopedic Surgeon

Last week, I was finally able to meet with an orthopedic surgeon in the Denver area about my hip. As I've stated (many, many times), I am pretty sure I am going to need surgery on this cranky hip of mine. Dealing with setbacks constantly, and essentially since I started running, has finally gotten to me and I realized I needed more help than what chiropractic and ART care could give me.

Enter the Steadman Hawkins Clinic and Dr. Genuario. SHC has an amazing reputation in this area, but quite frankly, I chose them because they were the best price among estimates my insurance gave me. So, that was a fortunate accident. And what I mean by amazing reputation is that the doctors in this practice generally at one time or another have been team physicians for the Colorado Rockies or the Denver Broncos. So yeah. I know I'm in good, smart and capable hands. 

My first impression of SHC is that this clinic operates like a well-oiled machine. I waited maybe 15 minutes past my appointment time (not too bad for a late afternoon appointment), was taken back and immediately went to x-rays after I changed into shorts. 

The last time I had x-rays, they were still using film. So that tells you how often I don't go to the doctor for this type of stuff and how seriously I am taking my insanely slow recovery. 

I actually ended up seeing two doctors - the first is a fellow with SHC and did the exam, moving my legs around, doing the usual tests, which my chiropractor has done a million ... or more like 15-16 times (I rounded up). 

Surprise, surprise, I have classic signs of FAI and labral injury. The x-rays confirmed a pincer impingement on my hip. 

I guess the pincer one isn't as bad as the cam one... the cam one is what causes tears and messes the labrum up really well. Pincer probably means that, instead of being nice and smooth on the end, my labrum looks all scrunched up like an inchworm. 

The frustrating part of the appointment: 
When I was first told about this, the fellow told me there was a spectrum of care addressing this. The first was activity modification (ie, if it hurts, don't do that) followed by physical therapy and then something else. 

Luckily, I had my chiropractor send over a summary of care so they have documentation that I've been doing that since January. And even though they knew that, I sort of interrupted him and said, 

"But that's why I'm here. I've been doing that and it hasn't helped."

So then he said next steps are MRI, injections and then surgery if needed. My response was that if surgery was inevitable then I'd rather take care of it now as opposed to just delaying it. 

And maybe it sounded like I wanted to schedule surgery that day, which I didn't, but I got this speech about having to follow steps and what not. All I wanted to do was give a speech back about how I wouldn't be here if I thought I could get by with physical therapy and taking it easy and that injections were simply another band aid for something that wasn't going to ever going to completely go away and what's the point of that?

Maybe I'm just one of those neurotic patients who are over-informed on things. I'm a few steps ahead of the docs, and I know that they need to follow specific steps in order to get insurance to cover things, and I know they are very good at what they do and I should trust in them and the process, but for whatever reason, I expected to learn something new at this appointment. and I didn't, so I was frustrated. I left that appointment more upset that I should have been, with an MRI with contrast scheduled for two days later and a follow up appointment in a week.

After a hard workout, I felt a little better about things, but still not happy. I guess I'd have to wait for what the MRI would bring.

1 comment:

  1. I just hope they can come up with an effective solution, because I know you've been through a lot. Meanwhile, keep watching and taking heart from those FNL episodes. Think about Smash coming back from a devastating injury. Think about Coach Taylor going to...oh, wait, you may not be that far yet!