Skip to comments.Knee Surgery (Canadian wrestler has knee surgery, good look at canadian health care)
Posted on 02/25/2008 6:20:56 PM PST by Sonny M
For those of you who havent heard I had my first surgery last week. I had both of my knees scoped last Thursday to trim and remove bits of torn cartilage from my knees. There wasnt a specific injury that necessitated my surgery it was just a long-term build up of wear and tear from a 16-year pro-wrestling career. The problems first started in my right knee and then later developed in my left, quite probably from putting added pressure on it while trying to favour the injured right.
Thanks to an incredibly slow medical system the whole process from my initial doctors visit, to access the problem, till the eventual surgery was approximately 21 months. Yes just less than two years from when I first had my knees look at until the medical profession got around to doing something about it. I guess I can at least take comfort in the fact that at least I wont be getting a large bill at the end of it all.
Id love to be able to tell you all that the surgery went extremely well and Im expected to make a full 100% recovery, but unfortunately I cant. That isnt to say that the surgery went poorly mind you, because to be honest I have no idea how the surgery went at all. Let me explain.
Apart from the initial consult with the surgeon, when he told me I definitely needed to get both me knees done, I had practically no further interaction with him. I did not see the man again until the day of my surgery and that was but for a brief minute or two tops. From what I can tell the surgery process is very much that of an assembly line and doctors waste as little time as possible.
I had to check in at the hospital at 7:40 am for my 10:40 am surgery. While there waiting I noticed the schedule board and the fact that my surgeon had surgeries schedule every hour that day. He stopped by to see me for a brief chat after his first surgery, around 8:20 am, and explained that he doesnt do a post surgery consult with patients because he found that most patients didnt recall the conversations due to the after effects of the anesthesia, and that he would do that at a follow up appointment the following week.
After that brief conversation he was off to surgery #2 and I never saw him again. I spoke with several nurses and the anesthesiologist after that, but that was it. I was given a general anesthetic and was asleep well before my surgeon reappeared and he was long gone by the time I woke up. Thankfully I experienced no ill effects from the anesthesia so the whole experience was a peaceful, if somewhat uninformative one.
Once I was fully awake I again received very little instruction. A nurse explained that I could take the tensor wraps off my knees after 2 days and that I should keep the incisions as dry and clean as possible and that I should book my follow up appointment with my surgeon for the following week, and that was that. She sent my wife to get me a wheel chair and I never spoke to anyone again. When my wife returned with the wheel chair no one helps us, or gave us any instructions, we just left.
I can only assume things went well, and if they had found anything unexpected during the procedure someone would have said something. My follow up appointment is Wednesday morning, so hopefully I will know more then and post an update on my website then, but for now I can only assume things went well.
My knees were quite sore immediately once I got home and I could barely manage hobbling back and forth between my couch and the bathroom. I spent my first two nights sleeping on the couch in my living room because there was no way I was going to try to negotiate stairs. Had I just had one knee done I would have been far more mobile but with both of them getting done I was pretty useless for the first couple days. Saturday night I managed to make it up the stairs and sleep in my own bed but that first couples of nights were pretty crappy.
My knees are fairly tight and my range of motion is still a little limited but I am moving around much better and each day is a noticeable improvement. With the exception of doing stairs, Ive given up the crutches in favour of a cane, and hope to be walking without either fairly soon. Hopefully I will know more Wednesday after my follow up appointment with my surgeon and I will have a better idea of how soon I can expect to be back to normal. Keep your fingers crossed for me and I will try to keep you posted.
Its also something I sure as hell don't want to see here in the United States, I'll take the bill, if it gets me quality.
Orthopods generally have surgery days at a hospital (or their office if so equipped) and generally schedule several cases in a morning. The tools are quite good, and if the doc is good, it may not take the doc more than 20 minutes to complete the repair of a couple tears, inspect the joint for arthritis and ‘debris’, clean up the work, put a single stitch in each incision and call it done. It’s not really assembly-line or ‘drive-through’ medicine, it’s just good business.
The pity is that this guy had such a poor patient pre-op experience and his post-op is likely to be equally poor because he has so little idea of what to expect, how to care for his knees, when to begin physical exercise and therapy, etc., etc. His surgery may indeed have been quite skilled, but his prospects for a good outcome seem shaky.
They held a very useful information session for him but for some reason they neglected to tell him why he needed this substantial cloth strap with a buckle ~ secret ~ promise you won't tell anyone, but that's for the use of someone else to assist you in going up and down stairs, or a step, or to stand in the toilet while you urinate someother place than down your neatly wrapped leggs. Do not say "no" to that strap. It's about $16 and is difficult to find later on. (We spent 2 hours and visited about 15 drugstores and medical supply shops in Northern Virginia before finding one.)
You should also buy this "helps you go toilet" kit before the surgery too.
Anyway, he got information pre and post op that was fairly comprehensive.
If he'd had to wait 20 more months his knees would have gotten so bad he'd spent a good while getting around in a wheelchair.
Many highly excellent surgeons work in this way.
It’s the modern world, to get the top guy at a price you can afford. He does the surgery in 30 minutes, but his assistants do all the other work.
My knee surgeon told me he did 4 operations per morning on Mondays and Wednesdays. He was really into it, wanted me to watch on the monitor. He went so fast I couldn’t tell what he was doing, but it was obvious that he was very experienced.
25 days versus 21 months isn’t very similiar at all.
I’m debating having knee surgery. I’ve been doing physical therapy, but I stopped a few weeks ago when I got the flu.
I need to go back, and start doing more exercise at home.
Anyway, if my knee isn’t significantly better by summer, then I’ll have knee surgery.
After month 14 of waiting (with me raising hell, trying to get them to come to the US and get it done and then wrangle out a tax write-off from the ordeal), they told her it could be another year before treatment...so after some back and forth with government idiots, they managed to fight their way into a (new at the time) program which sent cancer patients from Canada to the United States if they agreed to cover the cost difference (it worked out to $700).
As soon as they got approval, they contacted a hospital in Michigan and set a date for treatment 9 days later.
My parents pay an obscene amount in Canadian federal and Ontario income taxes for what they make. Plus they pay an additional provincial "health-care fee" every year to supplement government health revenue to the tune of around $2400 for 4 people, and their employers deduct from their salary a certain amount to pay an Employer Health Tax. Oh, and there is a sales tax, both federal and provincial amounting to 13% (down from 15% thanks to the current Conservative Party in power).
It is great if you are a welfare bum or other variety of social parasite, but if you work hard and make enough to pay taxes, the Canadian health-care system is enormously inferior to the American system. I've had direct experience with both, and everyone who actually pays for it comes out behind.
I advise everyone to avoid surgery unless absolutely necessary. It takes years to fully heal.
I had to have it because my bones were rubbing together and I couldn’t walk.
I had knee cartilege trimmed to fix wear and tear from a lifetime of basketball, running, and bike riding. Great care, excellent information. I had the surgery 2 weeks after the doc determined that there was no alternative. I hope this guy gets better info. on the follow up visit, because taking care of the knee for the first few weeks is pretty important. Actually, no way he should have been hobbling around on it the first day.
Canadian Healthcare.......Calling Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr.Howard!
At least he survived. Could have gone much, much worse. And it was “free.”
Whoa, I had my hernia surgery done within 2 days of the doctor discovering it, and I would have had it done the next day but I still wanted to have one night out with my friends for labor day weekend.
They did mine at Fairview Hospital in Edina, MN. Apparently they have “hernia day” once or twice a month and I missed the first month because they were full or I was out of town. Had it done of a Friday morning and was back to work on Monday.
We saw the surgeon on a Thursday. He told my wife that she had to have the GB taken out. On Tuesday of the following week, we went in for the blood work. On Thursday after that Tuesday, she went into the hospital ON WHAT THEY CALL DAY SURGERY. In by 6:30 a.m., gone home by 1:30 p.m., minus a body part.
We arrived at 6:25 a.m. Reported to the day surgery ward. My wife was met by a nurse, who identified herself, and turned and told us the names of the other three nurses in the nurses station. She then told my wife what was going to happen next. She took us down to a regular type hospital room. She gave my wife the gown to put on and told her that she would be back shortly to start the IV's and stuff. My wife changed, and got into the bed as instructed. Within 10 minutes the nurse came back, did the IV, then told my wife step by step what was going to happen.
About 30 minutes later, the group from the surgery room came up. They put my wife on the gurney. And away they went. The nurse told me to stay in the room and pointed to the telephone. She said that the operating room would call me when my wife went into the procedure and that after the procedure the recovery room would call and let me know how it went. This happened. The operating nurse called me and said that the procedure had begun. Later the same nurse called and said all went well and that she was off to recovery. Later recovery called and said she is doing well and will be in the room shortly.
My wife came back to the room and the nurse came in and started her work. She told my wife she would stay till clear headed and after she could do Number One in the bath room!! :-) My wife was in the room approximately 2-3 hours recovering further. The doctor came by. Told me everything about the surgery. He went in and checked my wife. Came out and said she was doing fine.
After the recovery time. We went home. The nurse came in and gave my wife detailed instructions on what to do if certain things happened. She gave me a pain med prescription to have filled. Off to CVS to fill it and home.
Three days after the surgery, we got a get well card in the mail. It was signed by everyone who worked on my wife that day. From the doctor, nurses, recovery and operating rooms. We have never ever seen a hospital do that, ever.
My wife has recovered fine. Today we are going for her check up with the surgeon. All seems fine. She feels great. And the discomfort and pain she had before are gone.
Thus, the difference between a hospital that seemed to give a damn and that of socialized medicine, where a doctor and hospital crew don't care because of government interference.
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