Do doctors know ANYTHING?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 6/24/2010 9:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Ok so I've got a bad knee. I'm 32, on a cane, on pain killers, have had 4 surgeries, and have spent years in pt. All this stems from a car accident ten years ago. I understand that my leg is damaged. The last surgery did nothing and I felt pressured into doing it by my doctor. He did surgeries 3 and 4 and he thinks surgeries 1 and 2 have given me really bad arthritis to the point where my cartilage has been eaten away. My acl is also partially torn but not to the point where anyone has ever wanted to do anything to it.

that's the background. I go see the doc yesterday to get my synvisc shot. I've had it before, it's helped (after the swelling and pain go down). We're chatting about my options, and a partial knee replacement, because I'm running out of other options. All of a sudden, he starts talking about my knee buckling. My knee has buckled maybe once or twice in as many years. It's a non-issue. The constant pain and weakness, and not being able to walk is far more pressing. So now he's convinced himself I need an ACL recon. It's like he's grasping at straws here. This is so frustrating. And then I had to force him to give me the synvisc. All the through the years every doc has said arthritis. Why would he yesterday change it?

Needless to say, I'm seeing a new doc. But do these doctors even listen to patients? I don't want more surgery unless it really will fix this problem. But if they're just tinkering around and I end up on crutches for a month, then that's pointless. It's idiotic, no?

Ok that was me venting. Thanks for letting me do that! ;-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 6/25/2010 12:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Fashion Girl,

I can sure understand why you're doctor sounds like a nice guy who doesn't know how to admit he's done all he can. Maybe it's time you do seek a second opinion as your original doctor seems to have run out of ideas.

The last thing you need is more surgery for something that "may or may not"'s like grasping for straws...maybe you'll hit the jackpot this time, but more than likely not. Since you've already had 4 surgeries, you're only doing more damage (in my opinion) if you let your original surgeon operate again.

See what your new doctor has to say. If he suggests surgery as well, ask him point blank why he thinks a new surgery will work when the other 4 operations haven't. If he gives you an answer that makes sense and that you can live with, then go for it. If you have any doubts though....I'd say hold off for as long as possible. Do you currently use a knee brace, and if not, would it help?

I'm sorry for all your frustrations. I hope that you're able to get the answers you need asap to make an informed decision for your future medical requirements.

Conditions: Fibromyalgia, Severe Myofascial Pain, Chronic Pelvic Pain (with permanent muscle damage), Femoroacetabular Impingement (CAM and Pincer), Reynauds, IBS, Surgical Adhesions, Ophthalmic Migraines, Severe Hot Flashes (both Surgical Menopause and medication related), plus physically unable to vomit due to the Nissen, and I have extremely tiny veins with a lot of scar tissue...a joy when it comes to having to give blood or get an IV started

Surgeries: Appendix, Uterus, Nissen Fundoplication for GERD, Left Ovary, Gallbladder, Right Ovary, TVT

Medications: Oxycontin, Cesamet, Tramacet, Cymbalta, Flexeril and Clonidine plus Laxaday, Vitamin D and a Multi-Vitamin daily

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13366
   Posted 6/25/2010 1:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry to hear whats going on with you and I don't blame you a bit for being upset. I have had several surgeries myself on my left knee and one on the right. Its the pits what knee problems can do and how if they are not right they cause so many other problems. I do hope you will be looking for an ortho that specializes in knees only for your next dr. This day and time you will see that more and more people are having to advocate for their healthcare and I am afraid where things are heading its only going to get worse instead of better.

I will keep my fingers crossed that you are able to find yourself an excellent knee dr and soon. Please keep us posted on how the hunt for a new dr goes.

crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 2268
   Posted 6/25/2010 3:45 PM (GMT -6)   
FG -
I'm not sure surgery ever fixes a problem. Sometimes it makes it less horrible, but so many times it seems like you advance 5 steps in one area & go back 2 in another -- and that's if you have a "good" result. I'd stay away from the surgery too, if I were you. :)

I think you're right, though, about the doctors just playing "guess and check" with our treatment/diagnoses. So frustrating. I finally pinned my PM down & got him to admit that was what he was doing. At least they could admit it, rather than pretending like they absolutely know what's wrong with us & then 4 weeks later they absolutely know it's something else (kinda reminds me of "House").

I think you're very wise to be seeking a second opinion. Be sure to tell Doc#2 that Doc #1 had no idea whatsoever about what is going on with your knee. Otherwise they will just parrot each others' opinions (I've learned that the hard way -- more than once).

feel better,

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 6/25/2010 3:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,

thanks for the responses! To answer questions, yes I use a neoprene brace everyday. My knee feels very unstable. More than that, it's just painful. I've lost a good 15 pounds this year, so weight isn't a factor on my knee, and I'm in decent shape. And with PT, my legs are getting really muscular! But the acl is only partially torn, which doesn't really require surgery. And I *just* had surgery (and prp, which really did nothing for me) last month! I really can't have more!

I'm seeing a new doc on Tuesday to see what he thinks the next course of action should be. I'm fine trying more injections and even acupuncture if it will help. I agree that surgery can make it worse, and if I have to have more, then I want it to be my last. Also, with work, I really can't have a month of being off my feet! (I'm self employed and starting up a business.)

I just wish doctors would stop and listen more and not pressure us so much. But I refuse to believe there's nothing they can do to make my leg hurt less. What a pain this is! ha!

I'll keep you posted. Be well everyone.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9607
   Posted 6/25/2010 4:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Sure would be nice if they could pinpoint our problems with exact science
and say there your fixed....they can do it with cars...gezzee..sorry just a little humour..
anyways, a lot of us here are just as fed up with procedures being done that they know won't help much...
Maybe it's time for you to just take a vacation from doctors...and go back when your ready..
maybe looking for another doctor...just an idea...Sure hope your feeling somewhat better soon...
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...


solar powered
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 538
   Posted 6/25/2010 4:46 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm really sorry that you are having such a hard time with your knee. Being a multiple knee surgery "veteran" myself, I can understand the frustration. You said that you and the ortho were talking about a partial knee replacement but that you have a partially torn ACL. From what I understand in order to do the partial replacement that all the knee tendons have to be in excellent condition. That may be why he brought up ACL reconstruction? If your knee feels that unstable it may be just a matter of time before that ACL blows completely and then any stability will be a thing of the past. I wonder also if the alignment of your knee is compromised due to the tear and thus increasing your pain and cartilage damage. So maybe that ortho isn't so off base, just not very good at explaining his thought process. I don't know. Anyway I hope that you get some answers and pain relief very soon. Sounds like you have had way too much "fun" with this and it is past time to stop. Good luck with your new ortho. Will be interested in what he has to say. Take care, Lisa
If I can laugh at it, I can live with it.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 6/25/2010 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Gecko Girl you might be right. But he's the third knee specialist I've seen whose said the tear isn't enough to warrant surgery or to be causing any of my problems. It seems to be the cartilage. But he didn't say that I had to do the acl first and then get a replacement. So hoping the new doc can give me better answers. From what I've heard about him he's very straightforward. I don't want sugar coating--I want to know what I'm in for. But it's also too soon for another surgery. Perhaps in a few more months I can consider it! But the scar tissue is still sore from my last one.

I know that eventually I'll need a new knee. But hoping it's not this year. If I can get back on my feet with injections and pt and other therapies, that would be great.
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