Busted Wrist, Advice Needed...

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by GearHeadGrrrl, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. GearHeadGrrrl

    GearHeadGrrrl Been here awhile

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    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?
    #1
  2. cybrdyke

    cybrdyke In the Dark

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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.
    CD
    #2
  3. sandsman

    sandsman I ride more than some and less than others.

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    How bad is the xray? Show us what it looks like.:D
    #3
  4. feathered

    feathered Been here awhile

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    +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'.
    #4
  5. Deuce

    Deuce Crazy Canuck

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    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.

    :1drink
    #5
  6. GearHeadGrrrl

    GearHeadGrrrl Been here awhile

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    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...
    #6
  7. YnotJP?

    YnotJP? Long timer

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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?
    #7
  8. GearHeadGrrrl

    GearHeadGrrrl Been here awhile

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    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...
    #8
  9. Motopsychoman

    Motopsychoman Not a total poseur

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    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.
    #9
  10. GearHeadGrrrl

    GearHeadGrrrl Been here awhile

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    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.
    #10
  11. Rick

    Rick Been here awhile

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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.
    #11
  12. GearHeadGrrrl

    GearHeadGrrrl Been here awhile

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    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...
    #12
  13. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    Airplane pilots and Doctors... you want the BEST money can buy. Don't hate someone for being successful.
    #13
  14. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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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.
    #14
  15. GearHeadGrrrl

    GearHeadGrrrl Been here awhile

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    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.
    #15
  16. cogitate

    cogitate What Marcellus Wallace Looks Like

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    Go see another doctor. I broke my arm when I totaled my bike, thought I could leave it heal. MRI showed it was shattered into hundreds of pieces. And it didn't hurt that bad :deal. The scaphoid has little blood supply and a break of it often goes undetected.

    A friend of mine left his broken ankle to its own devices, break was MUCH worse than he could have imagined, a decade of intense pain and multiple surgeries later, he still can't move his leg as it should.
    #16
  17. Pansy

    Pansy Not much of an Adventurer

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    Go on back to him and fall as you walk up his unshoveled sidewalk....
    Terribly unsafe conditions for his patients.... :deal

    You might end up owning the joint :D

    Hope you heal fast!
    #17
  18. ardbeglily

    ardbeglily Been here awhile

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    I would definitely get a second opinion, the sooner the better. Get a copy of your xray, it is your property. Most places will burn it to a disc for free or nominal fee or a hard copy might cost a few bucks. Go to the nearest teaching hospital ER or ortho clinic. It doesn't sound too bad and for a closed reduction you may only need numbed up at the least or conscious sedation at the most. I would not, like you be pulled into the first ortho office, just because it is close. Unless you are over 50 or have a heart condition you do not need the EKG. He is trying to feather his nest if you do not fit those categories. Good luck
    #18
  19. sphyrnidus

    sphyrnidus born to ride

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    So nobody here can see your fracture, you don't know what is really broken, but I can assure you there are some type of fractures that need to be taken care of, surgically or otherwise or you might have a problem that stays with you. So I'm not saying you should go along with the first proposition, but do have somebody knowledgeable look at it and the X-Ray.
    #19
  20. el queso

    el queso toda su base

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    The EKG is a prerequisite for surgery.

    Like others I would get a second opinion, but I would not be surprised if surgery was the right thing to do.

    I had a get-off a couple years ago and broke my left hand. I saw a hotshot surgeon and the first thing he did was schedule me for surgery. I also broke a bone in the right hand and we debated surgery - he said I would probably develop arthritis if I didn't. I didn't, and two years later I have arthritis in the right hand... The left hand BTW is great, and I was back on my dirtbike within a couple months. :clap
    #20