I went to see the orthopedic surgeon about my elbow yesterday morning; Bunz came with me. He had some very interesting things to say.
For starters, my GP shouldn't have sent me to see him in the first place. He apparently breached some major point of medical etiquette by sending me to a new surgeon instead of to the surgeon who operated on it orginally. He also shouldn't have sent me to have an MRI, to a consultation with a sports medicine doctor, etc - he should have left that to the surgeon in charge of the case. Now, of course, this is all just the opinion of this particular surgeon - but as he's really the Ottawa equivalent of what the English call a "Harley Street expert" I rather think it nails the last nail in my GP's coffin. buttongirl, could you email me the name of your doctor so I can try to make the switch?
He also said that the only mistake that was made at the Civic at the time of my original operation was in telling me that I would have a 100% recovery. He said that with any other joint, that would have been the case; but that with elbows, by the time the bone has healed (6 weeks on average) the joint has seized, and the patient ends up with only the range of motion that I have (I can bend my elbow from almost straight to about 90 degrees but no further - and it's my right elbow, as well). Since my pre-operative talk was given by an intern, he may have been unaware of the difference between elbows and other joints. I'm mad about that - but I no longer have to worry about being a victim of a surgical malpractice, and I no longer have to worry about needing further surgery, both of which are HUGE FUCKING RELIEFS.
He took a look at my x-rays, and agreed that I do have some bone growth, which is a result of my osteoarthritis. He debunked my GP's pronouncement that my arthritis was pronounced 2 to 3 times beyond the stage it should be, but said it was exactly where it should be. He agreed that I need pain management, but as he's not taking my case on, he couldn't prescribe anything. He said the pain in the joint and in my wrist were normal, but that he didn't know why I was getting deep tissue pain as well.
So that's where I stand. I don't need surgery, I might follow up on massage therapy if FC's benefits will cover it, and I need to find a new doctor who will help me with serious pain management (none of this Tylenol 3 and a pain journal crap). It's nice to be less confused.