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Old 12-07-2013, 07:07 PM   #1
GearHeadGrrrl OP
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Busted Wrist, Advice Needed...

Motorcycling's reasonably safe, but stay away from snow shoveling... Fell and busted by wrist wensday. Gave it the standard RICE treatment and some OTC pain meds and called my HMO's "nurse line" for advice. Of course they told me to get to ER right away, but that's 20 miles away, snow's still fallin', and the winds pickin' up= Imminent 0 visibility out here in the country. Not much better weather thursday, so friday I finally got to Urgent Care. They x-rayed and confirmed fracture and referred me across the street to the local hotshot orthopedic surgeon's lavish clinic/OR.

Red flags went up soon as I entered the place- Roof covered in solar cells but still snow and ice on the sidewalk leading in. Hotshot Dr. wants to "operate" monday and wants to do an EKG first, and wants someone to drive me there and and be with me for 24 hours afterward. And the "operation"- "Closed reduction"... So he wants to do (and bill for a full surgical prep and anestisia (in his own OR, of course) to set a fracture?! When I hesitate, he warns I'll get arthritis without the surgery... Well, I already got arthritis!

Got home and I researched more, he's a big schedule narcs prescribor and most of his business is medicare= 100% pay, 0 deductible. Find that the bill will likely be at least $10k, and I've still got a $1k deductible to kill this year and I have to pay 20% after that= $3k or more out of my pocket for a glorified fracture setting!

My temptation is to leave it go and see what happens... I can still upgrade to a better insurance plan for next year, and in a year and a half I'll be eligible for medicare. I'm in a rural area, so I don't have a whole lot of choices, and no way am I going to help this "hotshot" doc feather his nest!

Any advice?
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:30 PM   #2
cybrdyke
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You're asking a bunch of juvenile throttle monkeys for advice about this??
If you dont like that doc, go see a different one for another look-see. I'd hurry.
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Old 12-07-2013, 07:33 PM   #3
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How bad is the xray? Show us what it looks like.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrdyke View Post
You're asking a bunch of juvenile throttle monkeys for advice about this??
If you dont like that doc, go see a different one for another look-see. I'd hurry.
CD
+1

See another doctor if you don't like this one. I'd trust a medical professional over 'random internet person who hasn't even seen my arm'.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:05 PM   #5
Deuce
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I feel your pain

I broke both wrists on Oct.06 when I crashed my wife's 650 Vstrom (totalled it).
Left scaphoid and right radius. There are a couple YouTube vids about your fracture and how it is treated. My radius was a clean break so I didn't need the reduction or any surgery. Had both casts removed on Nov.18 & now doing some rehab at the Hand Clinic. Takes roughly 1 day of rehab/recovery for every 2 days in a cast. I was 6 weeks in a cast so I have another 1-2 weeks of rehab to do. Most likely more because I had some soft tissue (muscle) & nerve damage also.
My left hand is about 70% normal but the right one is only about 30%. Lots of pain still and no strength.

Go see another Dr. and get another opinion ASAP. My costs have been $88 for both fibreglass casts and $180 for the rehab at the Hand Clinic. Will get reimbursed for all that via our bike insurance. I live in Canuckistan where we have that evil socialized free Medicare.

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Old 12-07-2013, 08:05 PM   #6
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Wish I had the x-ray...

Hotshot doc showed it to me for a second after I didn't fall for his monday "surgery" offer, but didn't give me a copy. Wish I was closer to my HMO's own clinic, they put all the records they generate on your personal web page and they're a lot more efficient. Dinged a couple fingers on my other hand a few years back when a cager ran a stop sign and hit me on a bicycle, and they took great care of me and cost me almost nothing. Compare that to the local "hotshot" who wants to milk this mundane injury for all it's worth...
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:19 PM   #7
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You say you wish your HMO was closer. How far away are they? It sounds as if you are comfortable with them, that may make it worth the trip to them.

Oh, and what color is the hotshots Mercedes?
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:46 PM   #8
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180 miles to my HMO's clinic...

And the roads still haven't cleared up from wensday's storm, with more snow expected tonight. And hotshock doc probably has a whole fleet of luxury cars, given that his clinic is probably grossing at least a couple million a year...
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:16 PM   #9
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Eek

Get a friend to drive you to your HMO as soon as it is safe. Broken bones need to be thoroughly evaluated. Some need nothing more than support. Others need reassembly with metal parts, pins, etc.
Until you get to an ER or orthopedist, try to immobilize your wrist so that you don't do additional damage. Use some sort of very soft splint and take anti-inflamatories.
Any fracture in the wrist is likely to end you up in a cast for 4 weeks or more.
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:37 PM   #10
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Doin' OK...

Pain is squelched pretty well with 2 Aleve a day and the wrist is looking better as the swelling goes down. I'm doin' pretty good at driving and will be in the cities where the HMO's clinics are Wednesday, may stop by and have them look at it if I have any insurance coverage left.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:42 PM   #11
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Your break doesn't sound that bad from what you're saying.

I broke mine as a kid and it was bad. Like every bone broken bad.

The Dr. was a specialist that just happened to be visiting that particular hospital. He set the bones and put a soft cast on it due to swelling. I ended up with 3 more casts over the next 3 months.

That was well over 30 years ago and I didn't start having issues with it until about 10 years ago. Even then, it's not that bad really. I'm not sure surgery would have made things any better now because you've got to expect issues with it when it's that bad of a break.

If I was you, I'd definitely get a second opinion if possible and skip the surgery if possible.
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Old 12-08-2013, 03:56 PM   #12
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Lot cheaper to try conservative treatment first...

I've got a $1000 deductable to pay before insurance kicks in and then I still have to pay at least 20% up to a $5000 out of pocket max. Reading up, average cost of the "surgery" "hotshot" Dr. wants to do is $10,000, and probably a lot more than that at his Taj Mahal clinic. That means at least $2800 out of my pocket if I have him treat it now. I'm a retired Fed, so with health care "open season" ending tomorrow, I went online and switched to a more expensive lower deductable policy for next year that would cost me $1000 instead of $2800 for the same $10,000 surgery. And if I hold out another year and a half, I'll be eligible for Medicare...
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:00 PM   #13
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Old 12-08-2013, 04:12 PM   #14
Canuman
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An EKG for a broken wrist? Not unless you have serious problems with your heart!

Get someone to drive you to the ER and have it set. If it was a real train-wreck, it would be the size of a volleyball, or have bones poking out.

I know people who have walked out of tough conditions with a damaged wrist. I went for a couple of weeks with a chipped bone before having it cast. Immobilize it as best you can and find someone who will give you sensible treatment!

No disrespect for those who advocate quality care, but this isn't a $20,000 injury.
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:19 PM   #15
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Hotshot Dr. was ready to milk it for all it's worth...

He's got his own clinic with operating room, MRI, PT, and even the street in front bears his name... I could see him maxxing out my out of pocket both this year and next. Par for the course in this rural area... And explains why for a lot of folks 'round here it's SOP to drive 170 miles to the city or 200 miles to the Mayo for treatment.
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