No doctor is perfect. My guess is that orthopedic surgeons are as tired of talking about the importance of weight loss and exercise as I am to what seems to be deaf ears. Worse, it’s unprofessional to complain about other specialists, but my last two weeks have been a bit frustrating.
- Patient was seen two years ago with “mild arthritis” in a joint. She was told by two orthopedic specialists that she didn’t need surgery. Neither of them recommended physical therapy or for that matter, any movement whatsoever. Apparently that’s what she didn’t do–move (or so I’ve been told by a friend). Now she’s scheduled for a joint replacement having never been offered the option of physical therapy. I cannot help but think her inactivity accelerated her joint problem.
- I encourage my patients with knee and hip pain to exercise and especially to lose weight. If I send them to an orthopedist they come back to me and deny that the orthopedist recommended weight loss. I think they just didn’t hear what they don’t want to hear but many times, there is nothing in the referral note indicating that they were told to lose weight.
- Last week two patients came to me after they saw their orthopedic surgeons asking ME to send them to physical therapy. Why? Because the surgeon didn’t recommend it.