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Knee Injury

Posted by Leona on 6/30/04 at 17:45 (154283)

I injured my left knee 6/16/04 and went to the ER where they took x-rays, the ER doc said not broken, just bruised, and to use a cane and sent me home. I saw an orthopedic surgeon on 6/22/04 where he took his own x-rays. When he came to examine my knee, which at this time it was black and blue and badly swollen from my knee down to my ankle and up to my butt. He compared his xrays to the one from the hospital and seemed disturbed that there was a fracture. He must have thought that the ER doc should have found this. My orthopod ordered an MRI on 6/28, but I don't see him again until 7/14. He said a fracture would heal itself. Is that true? Today is 6/30 and my left foot is twice the size it should be and my toes are black, my ankle, and heel. When the injury happened my knee was 3 times it normal size, the ER nurse got me a wheelchair and just stuck my whole leg straight up without knowing the extent of the injury. I should mention that I fell down our deck steps, as soon as I fell I knew I was hurt bad, actually I thought I broke it. Is there any ideas as to what is really wrong? Hi Ed Davis.

Re: Knee Injury

Marsha G. on 6/30/04 at 20:25 (154296)

Hello Leona:
My sympathy to you regarding your injury. I hope you soon feel better. I am not a MD or RN, but I would not return to that ER or the orthopedic dr. If he thought your fracture would 'heal' on its own, why did he order the MRI? I would seek a second opinion as soon as possible. Does your foot, leg or knee feel cold? Toes black? from a knee injury? You could have nerve damage from the injury. Futhermore, why did'nt a radiologist read your xray in the ER? or at least read it the next day?
Please Please get a second opinion. Take care and God Bless you.

Re: Knee Injury

Leona on 7/01/04 at 14:49 (154340)

Thanks Marsha: Oh, my are my toes black, really black. I went to this dr. before and he is (was) trustworthy. My foot is twice its normal size, and the black and blue marks on my knee and leg aren't going away. At night I have a hard time sleeping because I can't get comfy, even a sheet hurts my knee. Last year and 2 1/2 yrs ago my sister posted several times about her achillies tendon and all the screw ups she had. She saw at least 12 doctors, and is still bad. So I'm very gun shy about doctor's. PA had so much publicity about malpractice last year so I am scared something is really wrong and won't be fixed. I am not able to see the doc until 7/14. I don't know what to do. Most of the orthopedic surgeons around here are at the same professional medical center. Center for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, that's the name of the place. When I bump my poor knee I almost scream with pain. I am scared, I can't help it.


Re: Knee Injury

Marsha G. on 7/01/04 at 15:41 (154345)

Leona-Hang in there. I know it is hard. Try putting your injured leg inside a box of some sort at night when you sleep. That way nothing will touch it.

Until you get to the Dr. take it easy. You might want to look up Reflex Sympathic Dystrophy on the net and see if you have any of those symptoms. I truly pray you do not. It is a true blue monster......Drs. don't always know right off what is wrong with you. Sometimes due to your problem, it is a rule out situation. You just have to trust. I still do not understand why you had the MRI? if he told you it would heal on its own.??
I will say a prayer for you......

Re: Knee Injury

Leona on 7/02/04 at 11:09 (154392)

Marsha: Thanks for your concern and prayers. Yesterday I got a small scratch on one of my toes and it was so swollen and black it bleed. I honestly can't even touch my whole leg without it hurting. My knee is so sore and big nothing can touch it. My family is worried about the situation. On more thing, I have osteoarthritis in my knees and feet. Again thanks. Leona

Re: Knee Injury

Dorothy on 7/02/04 at 14:57 (154406)

Leona -
I am not a doctor but I have been reading your posts with great concern. All I can say is that if I were experiencing what you are experiencing - all the swelling, blackness, pain - I would be at the emergency room because it sounds like an emergency to me! What do YOU think???

Re: Knee Injury

Leona on 7/02/04 at 17:59 (154417)

Well Dorothy I was at the ER when it happened and the rest is history. I called my Dr. office to find out the results of my MRI and was snidely told that they won't give reports until my next appt. which is 7/14. Imagine that. My knee down to the tips of my toes are sore at the touch. When touched usually gets black and blue. Swollen, sore, a horrible mess. Thanks for your help. Leona

Re: Knee Injury

Susan S on 7/02/04 at 18:24 (154420)

Leona, are you keeping your leg elevated and icing it several times a day?Could you have pulled or torn a ligament? Do you think there has been any improvement since it happened, or does it seem to be getting worse?

Re: Knee Injury

Dorothy on 7/02/04 at 23:07 (154433)

Leona -
I'm sorry I missed that important fact. I wish I could be of help to you; you must be worried and frustrated - I know I would be. I hope others more knowledgable than I am will offer you sound advice because what is happening to you does not sound like something that should just wait until July 14. Do you think that seems right?? I do wish you well and hope that all of this is just a very temporary part of your body healing itself.

Re: Knee Injury - Dr's...your opinion please??

Terri on 7/03/04 at 08:26 (154438)

Leona, I just cannot BELIEVE your dr is making you wait until the 14th! This is truly horrible and from what you've described to us, a malpractice suit in the making.

If it were me in your situation I would have someone drive me to the next town, county or state where someone will take care of this NOW!! Having black toes and the extent of bruising/swelling you describe with no help or pain relief at all is unforgivable.

Try going back to the ER again. If they won't take this seriously, then by all means go to a different hospital. Don't mess around with this anymore Leona!

Re: Knee Injury

Susan S on 7/03/04 at 10:04 (154441)

Leona, it's been my experience that how the front office staff behaves reflects what is going on with the doctors. If the person on the phone is rude, I'd be wary of the doctors. If you're not already at the hospital, I'd find another orthopaedist and have that office request the MRI results from this dr's office. Good luck!!! and keep us posted.

Re: Knee Injury

Janice N on 7/03/04 at 10:34 (154445)

You know trying to get past the front desk at a drs office is half the battle. One suggestion is to call after hrs and see who is on call for the evening. If it is the dr you are going to see ask the answering service to have the dr call. Just say I am a patient of theirs and had a bad fall awhile back. My leg is more swollen and painful and my toes black. I need the dr to call me right away. Dont say I cant get in to see the dr until the 14 or anything. Just say I need him to call as I am worse. Call after 6 when you think the staff is done. I tell you this is the way to be seen sooner. Then if you do get the dr to call tell him how you cant get in to see him until the 14th and you cant wait until then as things have progressed.
If you dont want to do this then show up at the drs office. Say look at my leg. I need to be seen today. If she says they cant say go ask the dr. Usually they will try and fit you in. I have an asthma like condition and need to go have a shot every now and then. I dont have the time or energy to argue about when I can have an appointment so I have to show up. If they dont want to see me then they they will be dealing with an emergency in their office. Most of the time they are not going to turn you down when you are in the office and you can show they how bad your leg looks. It doesnt look too good to turn you down in front of other patients listening while you are standing there on a swollen and black leg and toes.
It is ashame you have to do things this way but sometimes you have to. But you should not wait until then. I tell you I wasn't told I had diabetes. Found out in Feb but with my lab results being what they were in Oct a red flag should have gone up. So things got worse as I didnt even know until I had a raging yeast infection from head to toe. And my hair fell out. Took a routine blood test and still didnt get a call about my lab work being 4 x the normal level.
As far as xrays being read wrong when you go to an orthopedic dr or a neurologist they always want the xray and MRI films because they dont always agree with the findings. 12 yrs ago I was told I d a brain tumor and didn't.

Re: Knee Injury - Dr's...your opinion please??

Janice N on 7/03/04 at 10:37 (154446)

Terri you are so right. Pack up in the car and get going girl. One of my neighbors had to go to a different one in the same day. She had broken her leg the yr before. Fell in her apt and went to the ER. Had a xray and found nothing. Left and went to another ER where she was xrayed and indeed had broken it in another place.

Re: Knee Injury

Leona on 7/03/04 at 11:56 (154456)

Wow!! Thanks to all of you who are helping me. The unfortunate thing is the cranky people at the front desk won't help a person, I had the first appt. on 6/22 at 8:00 AM and didn't get taken in until about a half an hour later, my sister ask why it was taking so long since I had the first appt, the 'woman' snapped at her and said we have 5 Doctor's here. What that was supposed to mean is beyond me. Several people got there after I did and they were all taken before me. After I finally got in I had a zillion questions to answer which I answered all of them on a chart full of papers I had to fill out. I hobbled back to x-ray, then back to my room where I had to wait several more minutes before Dr. B came in. He took my leg and forced it to bend and go straight, which I couldn't do on my own. Then he looked at my x-rays. I was in so much pain afterwards. He has big skinny hands and he left his finger prints on the knee. He assumed there was a fracture and would heal itself, wanted an MRI also. The person at the hospital took my MRI (which I was afraid to have) took my cane, glasses, and told me to take off my slippers, since I couldn't wear shoes, and get up on the table. He didn't help me or give me a stool to get up on. I am 5'1' and had a heck of a time getting up there. Started my MRI, I had on head thing to quiet the noise and a call button. He came in later and gave me contrast which I explained to him made me high he said this won't its different then for Cat scan, well I got high. I had a hard time getting down off the table, I almost fell, he oh here's your cane and glasses, never helped be on with my slippers, I had a hard time putting them on. Told me I could leave, and if you ever saw anyone high it's not a pretty sight. Luckily my sister was there with me to help me outside where my other sister was the driver and came to pick us up. The hospital is one where we have horror stories that has to do with mom, bless her heart, she is now gone, no help from that hospital, she kept getting wrose at their hands, she passed away there after 99 days. I too am asthmatic and have many other health problems. Now this mess with my knee, leg and foot, my sisters are afraid my foot will burst. I will admit that I am scared half to death because I know what happened to my sisters achillies tendon at the hands of a quack dr. Thanks again. Leona

Re: Knee Injury

Terri on 7/03/04 at 22:11 (154474)

Leona, we understand everything that's been done (or not done) by the dr's office and hospital to this point, but what are you doing NOW?

Did you go elsewhere?? Please tell me you did and didn't sit home tonite waiting to see if things get better!!

If you haven't already gotten to another hospital, go now. Don't wait to answer this post....just get movin' girl!

Write back and let us know how you're doing.

Re: Knee Injury

Leona on 7/04/04 at 07:47 (154480)

I have to go back to the ER at this point, in fact, I'll be leaving shortly, my PCP fill in told me to go to the ER right away, HMO's always need referrals. I have a big bump now on the back of my knee. One more thing, GET THIS, when I fell I hit the back of my head and was out briefly, told the ER doc, and she wouldn't do anything she just laughed said heads are harder than knees. I'll try to tell you more later. Thanks again. Leona

Re: Knee Injury

Pauline on 7/04/04 at 10:39 (154485)

Take your attorney with you:* Hope everything works out.

Re: Knee Injury

Leona on 7/04/04 at 17:57 (154492)

Believe me I am keeping attorneys in mind. One wrong oversight that makes me loose a functioning motor part, I'll try to sue in a heartbeat. Was at the ER today and had x-rays and a doppler done. Seems that I have fluid on my knee, that's what they said anyway. They took doppler because of a lump behind my knee and thought I had a blood clot, luckily I don't. I have to have another doppler next week because I have superficial phlebitis. Everytime they even as much as touched my knee, leg, ankle or foot area, Ouch. The doctors in there seemed to think that it is a bad thing having to wait until 7/14 to see my Orthopedic surgeon. The head doctor, who I might add is a real cutie, and the practioner with him was very concerned about my situation. The practioner was so concerned I thought see she was going to have a fit that this was allowed to happen to me. I looked up phlebitis and didn't like what I found. It was categorized with Thrombosis & Embolsm, now I am really scared. They were adamant about elevating my leg and putting warm compresses on it.

I really appreciate all of you who has been helping me. I thought there would have been someone, who I won't mention, give me their input. Since I haven't it's no big deal to me. I like the help I have been getting from you and hope to continue your support.

Re: Knee Injury

Pauline on 7/04/04 at 23:29 (154501)

Contact your Orthopedic Surgeons office tomorrow tell them you were at the E.R. today and they told you to call for an immediately appointment. Tell him they had concerns about phlebitis and now your really worried. (Sound worried too.) If they give you a hard time contact the E.R. again and ask them to call your doctor and get you in.

Sometime you have to insist, be stern and don't take NO for an answer. With what you went through they should fit you in tomorrow. Squeak loudly until your heard.

Re: Knee Injury

Dorothy on 7/05/04 at 00:35 (154506)

Thank goodness you went and thank goodness there were doctors with the good sense to be concerned!! It sounds as if you are finally on the right track - good luck...

Re: Knee Injury

Leona on 7/05/04 at 10:26 (154530)

I'm supposed to call Ortho. Surgeons office tomorrow. I doubt they will do anything. I have to pick up a requision slip today at the triage at ER for a doppler next week. Now I don't know it they made appt. or I have to have PCP do it or what. One more thing about yesterday, the cute Dr. wanted me to take celebrex for inflammation, I told him I didn't think I could take it because of asthma, he said A minimal number of people have a reaction, well guess what? I had a nasty reaction them, I couldn't breathe and had to use inhaler and nebulizer to gain my breath. I will not take anymore. After keeping my foot elevated almost 24 hours, it is just as bad as it was and the lump is bigger than it was. Going back to calling the Dr. office tomorrow almost all you get is a voice mail and the girls get back to you if they feel like it. As for just showing up and being loud they will probably have me thrown out, because the girls at the front desk don't care. Believe me I know. Been there done that. We've been in there many times. You ladies are the best.

Re: Knee Injury

Terri on 7/05/04 at 15:33 (154543)

Just show up anyway. If they try to throw you out, have the police called in and call the local news network as well. I'm sure they'd love to air a story on how someone can't get even basic medical care for a serious injury. Honestly though, I wouldn't consider going back there at all, find a new dr.

If you can't go anywhere else because of insurance reasons, call your HMO first thing in the morning and tell them a lawsuit may be threatening due to the lack of medical care from this dr's office in spite of an order from the ER dr (your cutie!). Have them direct you to another dr for immediate care. Push, Push, Push !!! Don't let them call you back, insist on holding the line until a resolution has been made. You are your own best advocate for competent medical care Leona. Don't take no for an answer. If you need to, call the cutie himself and get him to intercede on your behalf.

Re: Knee Injury

Dorothy on 7/05/04 at 19:59 (154557)

Leona - Do you have anybody who can go with you to all of these encounters AND who can/will act as your advocate and back-up?? A spouse, offspring, friend, minister - or is there any group in your community that might have some sort of help - so that there could be two - or three - of you in the doctor's office, at the front desk, at the ER, etc.
Strength in numbers, you know.

Re: Knee Injury

Leona on 7/06/04 at 10:22 (154602)

Get this. I called the first thing this morning, got a recording that they weren't open until July 6th at 8:00 AM, well it was 8:00AM hept getting the recording, persistance paid off I finally got to be on hold to the operator came on the was on hold 13 minutes, then I got scheduling. Miraculously they had an opening for tomorrow, well after I told her what happened at the ER on the 4th. Imagine that. As for someone going with me, I have a sister named Kathy who is with me at all times, no one will get anything over on the 2 of us. She's all I need, she'll speak up and isn't afraid too. She says she has a 'big mouth'. Trust me she says what is on her mind. I have a log of everything that has happened from the day I fell. I'm going to be prepared. Thanks again.

Re: Knee Injury

Pauline on 7/06/04 at 13:56 (154624)

Having a log is a great idea. Park your sister in front the examination room door after the Dr. has come in and make certain he knows you think things should have been taken care of before now and that two trips to the ER isn't your idea of great followup care on his part.

Also insist on a return appointment that is close to the date that you are seeing him. Don't let them push you off for a month. You need close follow up care.

Best of luck. I know you and your sister will handle him.

Re: Knee Injury

Leona on 7/06/04 at 17:52 (154654)

My sister goes in the examining room with me, so I am covered there. She'll tell them, in fact, we told on one Assistant who works there that comes in and takes vitals and does the question asking. She is so hateful and nasty. My sister and I both had difficulties with her, so she didn't know what to say when she was called on it. She apologized all over herself, she has a terrible attitude. I'll try to let you all know how it goes tomorrow. You ladies, I want to say, have been great. I might be looking for more help from you. Thanks.

Re: Knee Injury

Terri on 7/06/04 at 20:51 (154684)

Good for you Leona! Sounds like you're rarin' to go!

You are right about letting dr's know when their office people and nurses don't work and play well with others. Many times they have no idea there is a problem developing until it's pointed out to them. They are very busy trying to see all the patients on their roster, plus work in the walk-ins daily and they rely heavily on their staff. It could be this dr is very competent but you're only as good as the people around you. In my 40+ years, I've only actually had 1 dr tell me not to hesitate if I ever have a problem with his staff, and he's the one that told me what I just typed here. And I can fully understand that, I'm a manager of a dept and don't know what my people are doing the full 8 hours they are there. I look at the end result, the $$ of course, and as long as things are in line, I can only assume the people I've hired are doing things correctly. Until there's a problem of course, and it's usually another co-worker, or God forbid!, a customer informing me of an on-going issue. And our dr's assume the same with their staff. And if you piss off the nurse, whoa Nelly and bar the door! The dr suddenly sees you as a 'problem' patient because she or he has his ear first. However, if the dr gets complaints about the same nurse or office staffer from others, this will help you as well as the dr to ensure you get polite and swift attention in the future.

I know, this is nothing we don't already know but I get a little long-winded sometimes, need to vent a little like we all do occasionally. Look forward to hearing from you tomorrow and see how things went. Good luck to you!

Re: Knee Injury

Leona on 7/07/04 at 17:52 (154797)

I'll let you know tomorrow what happened today. You might not believe it, it is very hard for us. JERKS!!!!! Doctor's......

Re: Knee Injury

Pauline on 7/07/04 at 18:23 (154800)

From the tone of your post it sounds like you'd better rest up before you give us an update. I'm afraid of what we are about to hear.

My Medical Disclaimer,
Please note that I am not a doctor and the above post is based on my own personal feelings in response to Leona's condition, things that she has been sharing with us on this site. Anyone having any medical condition similar to what she is experiencing should seek the advice of a qualified medical doctor.

Re: Knee Injury

Leona on 7/08/04 at 15:10 (154869)

Here is what happened yesterday. After waiting 20 min. to go back to examining room, no vitals were taken and they normally do. Waited another 15 or so min. for the doctor to come in to examine me and check my MRI films. All he does is talk into a mini recorder. When ask questions about what is going on he practically ignores us, my sister Kathy and I, very vague. He said my foot was swelling and toes were black because it is below my knees. DUH!!!! Then he said he didn't know why the swelling. Then he proceeded to finally say he had to drain my knee because there was blood on it. After leaving to try to get some latex free gloves, that took 20+ min, he came back in and said he was in another room with another patient. He put more betadine on my knee shot me with something that was to numb it, which was a waste of time because he proceeded to drain the blood from my knee. He squeezed and squeezed my poor knee then said he couldn't get blood because it turned to jell. Put the lonely drop of blood on a cotton swab and put that in a blood tube to have it checked for bacteria. So that is what I found out, literally nothing. Except that he knows how to talk in his little recorder talking medical lingo. He did a lot of fartin' around in the maybe 5 minutes he was in the examining room. Another thing I found out is that my knee hurt like a son-of-a-gun today where he stuck me, and he got his ear pierced sin 6/22 when I last saw him. I saw my cardiologist today and she check out the swelling and looked very strange that something wasn't done and my toes are black after all this time. The accident happened 6/16/04. Was that worth the wait? Bye. Leona

Re: Knee Injury

Pauline on 7/08/04 at 17:33 (154877)

I'm not a doctor as you know, but I think its high time that yours got something in writing from you.

I have no real knowledge of what has happen to you other than the descriptions you've posted for all of us to read. Based only on the informatiion you've provided my personal opinion is that you need to send him a letter that acknowledges all the treatment that you've had thus far by him and the result and experiences that you've had as a direct result of that treatment.

I would include any and all reports from your trips to the ER and conversations if any with the office staff.

In addition, I would recap what happened at your last visit along with any and all questions you'd like him to answer and list them 1. 2. 3. etc. telling him that you'd like them answered. I suggest one of them be that you want to know the results of the path. report being done on the fluid that he removed from your knee. In addition tell him that you'd like a copy of this report along with all and any other medical records related to this medical condition including such things as x-rays, MRI's etc.

Tell him you'd like them for your own personal medical file. This is something I personally believe everyone should have.

Make certain this letter is complete as possible including all names, dates and times of your appointments, visits to the E.R. etc. who you saw, when and what was done.

You've made a log. Now is the time to use it.

I assume that you have another follow-up visit scheduled. It will be your job to keep him abreast of anything that continues to worry you about your condition and to continue to take the necessary steps to find the solutions by asking for his help first and if he can not or refuses to provide it to go elsewhere.

In the mean time, continue loging you may just need it when all is said and done and don't forget to keep a copy of the letter you send him for your medical file.

Wishing you the very best.

My medical disclaimer:
I am not a medical doctor nor an attorney and the above post is strictly my own personal opinion. It is merely a suggestion not a professional opinion and should not be used as one by Leona or anyone else reading this post.

Re: Knee Injury

Leona on 7/09/04 at 10:46 (154929)

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped me in the past. I wish I knew all of you to thank you individually. So I just posted a thank you on the social board. I am saving all the info I got off this board.

My orthopedic surgeon said maybe in a month I will need Physical therapy. BIG WHOOP!!!! Bye. A loyal friend. Leona