Referral Fiasco

This is a mess, so this partly venting, but it’s also to expose that no matter how many books, blogs you read, no matter how many courses and mentorships you take, the battle against the evil forces of nonsense seem to always prevail.

About a year ago, I had a young man travel about 4 hours to come see me.  I would be lying if this is a rare thing to have folks travel to come see us, and it is very flattering.  You always feel a little more intent on doing these folks right that travel so far and believe you have the answers.  That makes this matter even worse.

So basically this gentleman, who had just finished his senior year in high school, had a locked left ankle.  As a student of the game from being on Strengthcoach, he knee his same side knee pain was from his ankle, and he knew the ankle needed to be fixed.  But this ankle wasn’t moving at all.  We tried everything.  He had a history of fractures and sprains, and it just scarred over.  I tried Mulligan; I tried manipulation; I tried MWM at the knee; soft tissue everywhere.  Nothing.  So after a month of him trying ankle self-mobs, he came back, and I recommended he see a surgeon.

Among the list of guys I offered, he chose John Kennedy @ HSS. This dude is supposed to be one of the best in the world.
He basically makes this now college sophomore that his knee pain isn’t associated with his ankle and that he has excessive scar tissue, lax lateral ligaments, anteromedial impingement, and os trigonum.  I’m not sure we needed an MRI and X-Ray to know all that, but obviously a surgeon needs the test to confirm they go in.  He also says it’s only a matter of time until the other ankle rolls badly too.

Now Kennedy tells him to go to a PT for 3 weeks, and if it’s not better, then he’ll do surgery.  The PT does diathermy and Class 4 Laser.  The laser is great, but come on.  AND Kennedy tells him when he works out to do such things as curls on a wobble board for ankle stability.   Yes, curls on a wobble board from one of the best ankle surgeons in the world.

And an ankle surgeon that will never get a referral from me again.

As trainers and therapists, we use doctors.  The don’t use us.

I’m sorry, Greg.

  • June 11, 2010

Leave a Reply 2 comments

chris Reply

Charlie, I feel your pain. I work in fitness facility owned by a large ortho group, so I usually refer in house. I usually know what is going on when I refer, but as ATC, sometimes it is best to get an official diagnosis (CYA.) It kills me when they totally miss the real issue, and sent them to PT to have the symptoms treated, and not the problem! Sometimes I just have to hold my toungne, since the Dr. might be a partner who owns my facility.

Charlie Reply

This is not a Doc I work for or worth with. I know he is one of the best surgeons on Earth, so I tried to do the kid right. I needed a surgery for this young man, and I was using a good surgeon to get it.

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