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Orthopedics/no communication or bad communication



I am at a loss of what I should do. I fell and tore my meniscus back in Nov. I had surgery in 4 weeks later due to the clinic I went to not getting the doctor I picked the xrays etc. I'm assuming the orthopedic surgeon clipped off a piece of the meniscus and didn't repair it. I say assume because communication with this doc is almost non-existent.  I was off work for approx 3 monthes. I did exercises at home and opted out of physical therapy as I live so rual and being off on STD I have to be very careful with money.Probably 2 weeks after surgery my pet goat butted my injured knee. It hurt but didn't seem to do anything to it.
  I had a really hard time when I went back to work as I drive a truck hauling oil and this is a very physically demanding job. My job requires hooking up 4" hoses while bending over, stepping over and around pipe on rocky uneven ground, climbing up and down approx. 300 stairs per night, climbing in and out of the truck approximately 20 times. My first night back I stepped over the static line and my foot came down on a large rock which twisted my knee. This hurt really bad but I forced myself to work and didn't report it because I wasn't sure if I had really reinjured it. My supervisor would have had to come out in the field in the middle of the night and do the whole accident thing.
I continued to work and it was very painful. About three weeks later I was working took a step expecting the usual pain and it was completely gone. Zip nothing like my knee before injury except not as stable but almost. I actually thought it was some kind of miracle.  When I got home I stepped into my bedroom and the pain was back. So disappointed.  After that it would come and go so I went back to the doc insisting that there was some piece floating around or something similar.  He first said it was just bursitis and he would gove me a shot in the knee for it. I declined and insisted there was something in there because the pain would not just go away completely in a second and then come back. The doc ordered a MRI. I had that done, and during that time my knee was getting better all around except for the feeling of that piece catching at times. I was due to see the doc with mri on hand for him to look over on a Monday.  Sat morning I was almost finished at work and went to get my meter reading. I tripped over conduit that was on top of the ground and came down hard on rocks on both knees but mostly the bad knee. Since I had the clipboard we put our reading in my hand I didn't break my fall fast enough and smashed my nose on the meter. My nose started bleeding profusely and I tried to get up but couldn't. Finally another driver saw me and helped me up. I wanted to ice my knee and nose but our ice packs in the truck first aid kit was too old I guess and wouldn't work. I called my supervisor and he arrived about 40 mins later and drove me to the ER. I couldn't put hardly any weight on my bad knee and my other knee hurt too. The ER xrayed my bad knee and nose and put glue on a small  laceration on my face. I was to see my doctor anyway on Monday and called Monday to let them know what had happened and that at least part of this would be on workers compensation.  The office personnel was very rude,angry and basically said it was going to be a mess and from now on I needed to make seperate appointments on different days. One appointment for my BCBS insurance and one on workers comp. I questioned how to do such thing when it would have to be determined if more damage had been done to my knee from the fall on the job or the other knee. I also asked if he could follow up on my nose so I wouldn't have to see another doc and he said he couldn't. I brought him the mri and the xray ftom the ER. He xrayed my other knee.
I had asked the ER doc if he could see a piece of something floating around and he said  yes it looked like a piece of bone spur. This made me very happy as I figured I would just need cleanup surgery.
My doctor guickly said the fall did nothing which than stopped any workers comp.He schedualed me for surgery but wouldn't say what was wrong. When I asked about a piece floating around he didn't admit to seeing it.  I stated the ER doc saw it on the xray did he not see it also. He said oh yea I saw that. I was schedualed for surgery the Wed after next for arthoscopy.
Surgery day I was told to arrive 2hrs before my 10:00am appointment. The docs nurse called me and told me my appt was moved forward to 10:30 I asked so do I still get there at 8am. She said no don't get there till 10;30 but be on time. If explained to her that I didn't like the idea of going into surgery without know what was going to be done. She said she made a note on my file for the doc to speak with me first. I than waited until 3pm and none had come to get me. I called the nurse and said I was thisty and that it was outrageous to wait that long no food or water. She said it would be another hour and I was free to leave if I wanted. I wish I had! They finally got me at 4pm and he did surgery without speaking to me first. I asked what he had done and they said my paper said meniscus repair.  I asked is it the same area, same place? Did he remove that piece? She told me I would find out in two weeks when I saw him. She also told me that she needed me to pay $25 to fax my disability insurer paperwork as to why I am off work. I told her that I shouldn't have to pay that that the insurer should. She said she would not send it until I paid. I gave here my cc number as this ment i would not get paid for short term disability. She also bitched about having to fill this out. When I was out the tirst time she never said anything or made me pay,but because of the oil boom in this area they are crazy busy now and he still is taking new patients.
I have an apointment Thurs for stitch removal and that he wouldn't be there I would have to wait for my next appointment.  My pain level was much worse with this surgery so I want to know why and what did he do to my knee.
  I was given Narco10/325 and could walk on my leg right outa surgery it hurt much more but did feel more stable. My discharge papers had what exercises to fo and said that if I could walk and bear wait that was ok. The terrible pain I had felt mostly like inflammation kind of a burning pain.
A couple days later I got a hive on my chin and my bottom lip swelled. I also have hep c and was concerned about the acetaminophen. I called the nurse and she said not to take it if it was causing a reaction. I said can he call me in something else  that doeent have that in it. She asked him called me back and said to take Advil. I asked for this pain level? She said well take the Narco just take less.I thought this was redicoulouse as I was already taking one instead of two. I then called again and asked uf I could use my compounded pain cream instead she said yes. I applied that and it brought my pain from a 7-8 to a 2.
The next day I walked into my kitchen and all the sudden got that same pain I had before where it felt like a piece moved into the joint and it pinching or something. I ended up going to bed with knee elevated hoping it would be better also I took another narco so I could sleep. This morning I awoke and when I stepped out of bed pain was severe still when trying to walk on it. Plus this pain radiates from my lower shin and up into my hip. I was crying it hurt so bad and called the doc. The reseptionist right away told me she was the only one there and very busy. That the doc was at his other clinic along with the nurse, I would have to call back this afternoon. She avoided telling me where the other clinic was after I asked because I thought it may be closer, she stated she was sure they had already left.
I had called to ask them if I could take tramadol for this as I have a bunch left for my back problem I occasionally have and it seems to work really well for me. I was so discusted about the nurse not calling me back, that I looked it up myself and took it. Its defiantly taken the edge off it.
His nurse called me the next day and I told her I had taken tramadol and wanted a prescription for that as it was old (expired 2012) She said he was out of town and wouldn't be back until  the next Monday but if he called she would ask him. I called her today and asked her and she said yes where do I want it called in to. I was almost to town (I live between two small ones) told her where.  She said I'm not accusing you of abusing your medicine but you need to pick a pharmacy and stick with it. I told her I was sick of being nice to her that I was in a lot of pain, that I use which ever pharmacy is convienant at the time, that I didn't appreciate being treated this way,to call it in where ever and I would go get it, that I couldn't believe I had increasing post op pain and couldn't talk to my doctor or find out what was done to me for two weeks past surgery.  She told me that I told her my pain had decreased and that she never said I couldn't talk to him, but he was out of town. I am supposed to go to have her take out the stiches tomorrow and I am not comfortable with this. I had already told her that if couldnt see him for two weeks that I would take my stiches out myself that I wasn't driving all the way there for that. She said she had to do it because she had to document it. I don't want to go, i don't trust any of them anymore nor feel they have my best interest at heart. I would not want my patient in unavoidable pain, making someone wait  18hrs w/o food or water (I had went to bed at 10pm) is cruel, and  not to explain what he did to me seems bazaar.

My questions are

1) I don't know what's normal for knee surgery, doctor not communicating what's wrong, and what my recovery or lack of is based on. With this information should I make an appointment with a new doctor? And if so when? After I finally actually see this doctor?

Dear Brenda,

This Orthopedic Chicago Podiatrist located in West Loop 60661,Roscoe Village 60618, Elmhurst 60126 & Bartlett 60103 says...
Unfortunately what you describe is what insurance companies, attorneys & government have pushed Doctors to do. They have to charge for forms, they have to document everything, & they have to see volume in patients to be successful. It is a problem when there is worker's compensation insurance & regular insurance-because there are issues of who pays what & when.
That said---the doctor is required to have an excellent relationship with their patient, have everything explained to them. You should forward this letter to the office manager, express your frustration & tell them that you may seek outside help.
If this does not work,perhaps try to find an attorney who seems reasonable (someone who is focused on you& wants you to get help asap-as opposed to a large lawsuit
Hope this helps & Good Luck!

The Chicago Podiatrists of are specialists in orthopedics and sports medicine.
We are located in Chicago & Elmhurst

Dr George Tsatsos,Svetlana Zats & Dr Mariano Rivera
Podiatrist Chicago 60618 & Elmhurst 60126 Podiatrists
Board Certified in Foot and Ankle Surgery & Orthopedics
New South Loop Location-Chicago 60661

This information is offered as free advice and as general information. It may not be applicable to the specific questioner and his/her problem.  It is not based on actual knowledge of the podquestioner or his/her medical history and it cannot and should not be relied upon as definitive medical opinion or advice.  Reliable medical opinion and advice can only be obtained through hands-on physical contact and exam of the patient to establish an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.  No doctor/patient relationship is created or established here and may not be inferred through answers on this site.  The questioner and other readers must consult his/her own doctor before proceeding or implementing any suggestions contained within this document and answers on this site.  The questioner is only to act upon his/her own doctor’s orders and recommendations. By reading this posting which follows, the reader fully understands and confirms that he/she holds harmless this writer. If this is not fully agreeable to you, the reader, and/or you have not attained the age of 18 years, you hereby are advised to read no further


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Dr George Tsatsos


All questions related to orthopedics of the Lower Extremities-with a specialization in Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Surgery-Adults & Children Sports Medicine questions of the lower extremities-including runner's injuries. Second Opinion specialist in Foot and Ankle problems including fractures and revision surgery. All questions relating to foot and ankle problems in Children, Sports medicine of the foot and ankle Runner's and walking problems


Board Certified in Surgery & Orthopedics of the Foot & Ankle. PRIVATE PRACTICES: Ankle N Foot, 2220 W Belmont Ave., Chgo., IL 60618 since 1979 Ankle & Foot Center of Elmhurst, 401 N.York Rd., Elmhurst, IL, 60126, since 1989. Physicians Suites, Bethany Hospital, 3435 W. Van Buren, Chgo., Il, 60624, since1980. HOSPITAL & SURGICAL AFFILIATIONS: Bethany Hospital, 3435 W. Van Buren, Chgo., Il.- Podiatry staff since 1979 Glen Oaks Medical Center, 701 Winthrop, Glen Dale Hts, IL – Podiatry staff since 1997. Elmhurst Medsurge, 401 N. York Rd., Elmhurst, IL, 60126, since 1999 Resurrection Health Care Surgery Center, 3101 N. Harlem Ave., Chicago, IL, since 1999 Chicago Neurologic & Orthopedic Hospital, 4501 N. Winchester Ave., Chicago, IL, since 2008 Organizations

Member American & Illinois Podiatric Medical Association Member of the National & Midwest Academy of Ambulatory Foot Surgery. Member of American College of Sports Medicine. Member of American Medical Athletic Association. Member of Chicago Metropolitan Ski Council.

Prolotherapy in the Treatment of Foot Problems Clinical Correspondence, June 2002. Vol 92- no. 6 Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association. Paper on Treatment of Delta-Phalanx of the Foot – submitted for publication to Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery & for Fellowship of ACPPS., September, 1998 Sports Medicine Consultant for the book-Triathlon 101 Essentials for Multisport Success by John Mora – 1999 ISBN 0-88011-811-3 Windy City Sports – October 1996 Marathon Issue “Keeping Your Feet Happy” American Running & Fitness Association, Clinic Advisor & Lifetime Member – Editorial Staff since 1990.

Fellow-American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedists, since 1991. Fellow-Academy of Ambulatory Foot Surgery, since 1980. Fellow- American Institute of Foot Medicine , since 1987. Fellow-American College of Foot & Ankle Pediatrics, since 1998. Certified in Laser Surgery- by Wenske Laser Center, Ravenswood Hospital, 1991. Certified in Foot and Ankle Arthroscopy – by Doctor’s Hospital, 1991. Certified Preceptorship Director-Scholl College of Podiatry 1993-2006 Board Certified in Foot & Ankle Surgery-A.B.M.S.P., since 1987. Recertified 8/08 till 3/31/2012 Board Certified in Podiatric Foot & Ankle Orthopedics-A.B.P.O.P.P.M., 1991. Recertified 10/2003 till 12/2013 Board Certified in Pain Management-A.A.P.M., since 1990.-retired Clinical Instructor – Department of Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University 10/2007 until present

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