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Old 05-07-2015, 09:39 AM   #21
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One option would be to call a highly regarded hospital in your area and ask where you can find a list of physicians (particularly when you are looking for a surgeon) admitted to practice at that hospital. There is data on hospital acquired infections and surgical outcomes by hospital on the internet so I would make my hospital list from that. Then I would see if any of those folks are in a practice concentrated on your health care need.

In our area there are groups of orthopedic surgeons, heart surgeons.. etc.
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Old 05-07-2015, 03:58 PM   #22
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No medical recommendations here, but over the years, DW and I have faced the same kinds of challenges of finding the "right" fix for whatever the problem may be.

Our first step is to spend as much time as necessary to find out everything we can on-line... not just one or two websites. To learn the terms... the medical terms... so we can read and talk intelligently about the problem. Smetimes this takes many hours, but our time is cheaper than the doctor's fees. Usually this means we end up having the most up to date info on the medical issue involved. In the case of GP's, at least we are prepared to ask the right questions.

A simple search for "alternatives to knee surgery" brings up many sites, including some that may be cutting edge, such as stem cell therapy. A good fried just avoided replacement with a relatively new flexible arthroscopic insertion of a nylon type chip on the wearing surfaces. There are also many new "fixes" such as drilling for increased blood flow, using a type of "glue" to seal in healthy growing cartilidge inserts, electronic stimulation of growth cells etc...

For whatever problem, going in "prepared" is our approach to finding the right doctor.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:04 AM   #23
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Rayinpenn -- You have done physical therapy, right? Knees are simple hinge joints and they usually respond pretty well to stretching and strengthening exercises. It's certainly worth a try. If you combine exercise with weight loss, you might be able to delay surgical intervention. I'm hoping for cartilage rebuilding stem cells, myself, since they look promising.
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Old 05-11-2015, 09:19 AM   #24
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The ketogenic diet completely cured my husband's painful knees. It is certainly worth a try!
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Old 05-12-2015, 09:17 PM   #25
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A surgical nurse lives right next door to me, but we don't get along, so I won't be asking her what surgeon is good. Plus the surgery I am contemplating is too embarrassing for me to mention to anyone. So I am left looking at websites that evaluate the various surgeons in my area. Some of the reviews are pretty bad (outcomes, not front desk rudeness). The surgeon with the best review is 75 years old. DO I trust his eyesight? His memory?

I asked my GP for a referral and he just referred me to the hospital he works for. I should have asked him what surgeon he would go to, if he needed this particular operation.

I'd like to go to a surgeon who does this operation all the time, like 200 a year or so. Haven't found that info yet. Probably are "centers" that perform this surgery over and over. Still looking.

My gf had to have a shoulder joint replaced due to an injury. A friend recommended Dr. X. But Dr. X wasn't available soon enough, so he recommended his associate, Dr. Y. We talked to Dr. Y, asked him how many shoulder replacements he'd done. He said a few. I asked 5, 10, 20? He just said "a few" again. I guess the thought is that certain operations, like joint replacements are trivial, like getting an oil change. Once you've done one, you're an expert. To his credit, he sensed our lack of confidence in him, and suggested we go to a specific teaching hospital in a nearby city, where Dr. Z does hundreds of shoulder ops per year. We took that advice, and after checking out Dr Z online, had the op done there. It was a success, thankfully.

I think the surgeons know who is the best among them, for specific operations, and one needs to be able to get that "insider information" somehow.
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:27 AM   #26
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Is there any reason why you can't go to a center of excellence? Confidence in your surgeon can make a huge difference.
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:04 PM   #27
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Is there any reason why you can't go to a center of excellence? Confidence in your surgeon can make a huge difference.
Brat, Thanks for the suggestion. I did a search on *center of excellence* and got some interesting results.
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Old 05-13-2015, 09:01 PM   #28
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I was facing some serious, for me, surgery a couple years ago and spent a long time on the internet researching surgeons up and down the west coast who had expertise in my problem. With a little digging you can often find university videos of lectures on a subject on the web.

My community is blessed with health care providers who graduate, intern, or complete their residencies in Portland and don't want to leave. There were several viable options so no need to travel, but if the best in the west were in the Bay Area that was here I would go.
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:11 PM   #29
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My next door neighbor is an anesthesiologist, and she knows which doctors are the best with certain surgeries. She will not tell me who to use unless I mention their name. She will tell me the names of the doctors not to use, however. It's trial and error.

In our medium size city, it's common knowledge who the best doctors are for specialized procedures. I want the surgeon that does that surgery every day, all day long.
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Old 05-14-2015, 04:46 PM   #30
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Ask friends and family, search the names online and read the reviews. Some are very complete and detailed.
Folks I know who had knee replacements wondered why they waited so long in lots of pain before doing it. Each one of them could walk once again more than 20 feet without agony.
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:11 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by rayinpenn View Post
These old knees were killing me so I went to my GPs recommendation suggestions
Lose weight, limit walking and shots for my knees; the shots are a kind of lubricant.

The shots
I arrive at his office and am shown into one of the many exam rooms. The nurse walks in with two needles, two band aids and two cotton swabs. The doctor walks in and sprays my knees with a freezing solution... Bam under 4 minutes we are done. He billed like $500 for the procedure. I needed 3 doses about 10 days apart. The final dose was given by the PA as the doctor was busy. Doctors words of unsolicited wisdom "you know Ray it's just some plastic and metal.." A guy with bum knees doesn't need to hear that.

Sadly it didn't work then we leaned the doctor billed me an extra $400. It took my wife a month and half to get the money back. My plan has been to lose weight I've shed more then 15lbs and I'd like to lose another 15 then find a surgeon.

The question is how do you find the right doctor- I'm not impressed with my current billing machine.


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I'm sorry the shots didn't help you but they are magic for me. I've been getting them for over 12 years and they are the difference between dealing with extreme pain and using a cane. I feel lucky that these types of drugs exist because I suffered for 5 years before they came out. They gave me a normal life again.

Yes that is what all the Orthopedic docs charge for the shots. I have had 3 different docs and one charged $1100 a visit. The drug itself is $300 a pop.

I empathize since knee pain s**cks, and I hope you find relief from your pain, but I can't blame the drs for the charges. It's our broken healthcare system.
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:18 AM   #32
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That's an extremely expensive injection!
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