Do The NHS Know What They’re Doing?

12 09 2012

Another moany update about my broken bones…

Not sure what’s going on with the NHS consultant surgeons in orthopaedics but I’m upset and confused after my Monday visit for my latest checkup on my non-healing broken toe.

I’ve had my foot in plaster for 10 weeks now and, until last week when I got fed up and did loads of walking and my toe started to suddenly feel better (probably the increase in blood supply to the toe), there had been no apparent progress with it. Certainly, around 4 weeks ago, the toe hadn’t started to knit at all. On Monday I went for my checkup and the following occurred:

First of all, I had my current plaster removed to have new x-rays. With the delays in the x-ray room, the surgeon’s staff had been calling for me for a while but I was stuck in x-ray. Eventually, just as I was having the x-rays, another surgeon (I’d always seen the same one up till then) came into the room, had a quick look at the x-ray and said that my bone had finally started to knit a bit (I never heard the needles clicking though!) When I mentioned to him that I thought that was because I’d done a lot of walking in the last week, he was horrified and said I shouldn’t be walking about on it.

I then went back to the orthopaedics department and my regular surgeon came strolling down the corridor smiling at me. He went into his room and I got called in. He showed me the x-ray and pointed out that the two ends of the bone had knitted together now but the bone was still broken in the middle. He then proceeded to discharge me!

I was horrified to be going away with an unplastered foot with a broken bone which had been very troublesome so far to say the least and asked if I could have a new plaster on – he said no and that I should just wear strong boots (that’ll look nice with a dress on dayshifts!). So now I’ve come away with a still-broken toe, no further x-rays to tell me when it might have healed, and no protection for it.

Anyone any ideas on this bizarre behaviour? Is it normal? He did a good job with my wrist so what’s the matter with him this time? Just bored with it all or what?

Ideas on a postcard (with a pretty picture please) to… 😦

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12 responses

16 09 2012
bob

Hi Carol.Dont know if there are places near you but Glasgow has a sports injury clinic that is very good and the folk are helpful.One close to you might have advice on medical practice as I have no idea myself if this is the correct procedure.I do know they dont like plasters on for too long as that in itself can cause problems.

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16 09 2012
mountaincoward

I’d have to Google it to see I think. I’ll give it 3 more weeks, go and have another x-ray and then see where I want to go with it next I think. I was just very incredulous that I could be signed-off mid injury!
Carol.

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15 09 2012
Brad Stanton

I’m very sorry to hear that. You might try Mayo Clinic–they solve problems others hospitals don’t, or try some different doctors. Also, you might look around at Pentecostal churches, they often have people blessed with the gift of healing. I find that the kind of praying that most people do is not very effective. All the people of God in the OT and all of Jesus’ followers in the New Testament prayed with boldness–”In the name of Jesus get up and walk!” not “God if you want this person to walk, would you do it if it is your will?” Acts 3:6. I think one reason many prayers go unanswered is because people don’t pray the way Jesus taught his followers to pray.

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16 09 2012
mountaincoward

I’m assuming the Mayo Clinic is US? I’ve been to see my home doctor anyway and they’ve kindly said that, when I think my toe is healed, they will arrange for an x-ray at the hospital for me, so that’s good. I’m also going for another bone scan to check for further deterioration in my osteoporosis at the end of this month…
Carol.
P.S. I suppose the surgeon did say (although not ‘In the name of Jesus’) get out and walk! 😉

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13 09 2012
chrissiedixie

Things I do remember from my broken ankle is not ever seeming to have enough time to chat to the consultants and also thinking of loads of questions after I’d gone home!
If I were in your position now I would definitely go and talk it through with my GP.
However, I have heard of broken toes not been put in casts; I’ve also heard that they may sometimes just be taped to the neighbouring toe and I’ve also heard that they can take a long time to heal. If you google it you’ll find all those things too, so it may be perfectly ok what they’ve done, they just haven’t explained it properly to you.
If you’re like me though, googling something won’t set your mind at rest, but a friendly GP may sort it for you! xxx

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13 09 2012
mountaincoward

Hi Chrissie,
Yeah, you’re definitely right that the consultants never do have enough time to answer questions really – I could see from the amount of people each time in his waiting room that he definitely wasn’t being stroppy there – there simply isn’t enough time for each patient – just too many of us!

It’s true that a lot of broken toes aren’t put into casts – really only big toes as they have to take all your weight and are a main component of balance. They are the ones which can go seriously wrong. I’ve started buddy-taping it to the next toe myself as I really don’t want to leave it completely free, even in a good pair of boots.

I’ve done an awful lot of googling on my two broken bones and have read a lot of orthopaedic and medical websites.

Anyway, I went to my doctor’s this evening (managed to get a cancellation) and pointed out my main concern, which is that I won’t know when it’s mended if I can’t have a final x-ray. She said not to worry, when I think it’s better, just go to them and they’ll arrange for an x-ray to make sure. She also wasn’t worried about it being taken out of the cast and said it will probably be fine.
Carol.

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13 09 2012
fedupofuserids

I’d raise your concerns with your GP, and if things don’t improve I would certainly consider seeking a second opinion (even a private consultation).

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13 09 2012
mountaincoward

Yeah, I’ve managed to get to see my doctor today (it usually takes at least a couple of weeks but I got a cancellation) and she’s put my mind at rest a bit. She’s also said they can easily arrange a final x-ray when I think it’s better 🙂

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13 09 2012
johndburns

I’ve “liked” this post but I’m not sure if that’s the right response. From my experience the NHS are not very interested in minor injuries, it’s not life threatening and they have probably run out of ideas anyway. Think a hyperbaric chamber might be good, your local MS society should know of one. Other than that if you can afford it get a pvt consultation but find out who is good first. Sports injury clinic might be an idea.

Good luck!

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13 09 2012
mountaincoward

Ah – you are alive John – where have you been? I’ve been checking your blog most days and you haven’t been putting anything out since the Rannoch Moor one?

I’m trying buddy-taping and big boots for now – I think I should take photos of myself at work tomorrow in a pink dress and big walking boots! LOL

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17 09 2012
johndburns

Hi,

still alive. Working on my mountian rescue team novel just now. I’ll get some blogs out soon!

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17 09 2012
mountaincoward

Wow! the novel sounds interesting – are you in a mountain rescue team?

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