Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Minor Surgery Left 17 Year Old Heartbroken and Disabled..What Happened?? Help!!

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 4 Replies
  • Posted By: LisaDew
  • April 26, 2008
  • 07:42 PM

My very healthy, athletic 16 year old was having pain and discomfort in her elbow, and after many, many orthopedic doctors and clinics we were referred to an orthopedic surgeon who wanted to do an orthroscopic, exploritory surgery. Since the surgery she has been through intensive physical therapy with no sign of increase in mobilization. She cannot gain full extention inward or outward of her arm, which has left her with no strength and partially disabled. Not only can she not groom herself or do the normal things you do with your arm, her senior and promising college athletic carrer was destroyed, which is a sad story in itself. We have been to several local doctors since, trying to find out what happened and none want to help. (I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that they all know the doctor that performed the surgery). I need some help. She cannot even get the same consideration for a job as someone else do to her restrictions, and of course none of them want to admit that she is suffering from a disability that she did not have prior to this surgery. Can a 17 year old get an honest answer about what her future will hold as a result of this tragic misfortune? Please help...referrences for a doctor that might be of assistance, doctors that might have any suggestions of their own, attorney's etc. Thanks, Thoroughly Frustrated

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4 Replies:

  • sorry to hear about your daughter.. i cant answer any of your questions. What i did thou want to say is that she needs you to be encouraging and some therapy may help her eg counselling. She may need help to come to terms with her limitations (if nothing can be done about it) and also start focusing on positives. (she wouldnt need like a brain storming session about all that she cant do now.. you need to be positive for her). eg She may not be able to do her choosen career but there would be other jobs she can do, one arm or not eg for example phone advice services where one just answers a phone and talks. (I know she may not like that idea but what im saying is that there IS jobs out there, in which only being able to use one arm would be completely over looked). (I myself are disabled since i was about 26 yrs, probably on disability for the rest of my life. Thou i cant work at all (even part time).. that dont mean that I dont have a life so even if worst comes to worst, she should be able to be happy and learn to live with the issue). Maybe get with a counsellor and brain storm all the things she still could do!! (Pain in her arm indicated that there was a problem already there..who knows but maybe she would of ended up not being able to use her arm even without having the surgery done). Focusing on the negatives.. may only end up causing her to have the added medical issue of depression, so work on avoiding that. Your own emotions over it.. could be adding to her anxiety etc about it. ps.. I was a competitive swimmer when i was about her age.. I dislocated my shoulder and tore all my ligaments (had to wear sling on and off for years) and wrecked what ..who knows.. could of been a career. (two people i personally knew.. when on later in life to be in olympic team!). It is a very common problem to have to leave a sport due to something happening (injury of some kind). One deals with it and moves on, dont focus on that loss. (sorry if i sound harsh).
    taniaaust1 2,267 Replies Flag this Response
  • My close friend was a competitive swimmer and Olympic Team qualifier when he blew out his knees probably due to plain old genes. Life happens, and we can't control it, we can only rise to it. My friend is probably one of the best people I know because he learned how to live well as a result of a "tragic" setback. I would highly recommend my other friend Dan Millman's book, "The Way of the Peaceful Warrior." If your daughter isn't a reader, rent the movie (although the book is *much* better). It will give her some insight that life goes on, often wonderfully, despite physical limitations. I know. I'm a visual artist who is losing her eyesight. http://www.thepeacefulwarriormovie.com/ (Disclaimer-- no kickback here-- Dan is my friend because his inspirational writings helped me cope.) Blessings.
    aquila 1,263 Replies Flag this Response
  • Good post by Aguila! I would recommend trying acupuncture if you have it in your area. Visit www.acufinder.com to find a qualified practitioner near you. Acupuncture is brilliant and can help increase her ROM. Also, I hate to say this, but a second surgery may be needed. I would avoid this at all cost and try acupuncture first - it may take 6-10 acupuncture treatments but it should really be helpful. Acupuncture will promote healing of the tissues and joints, and can help break up scar tissue accumulation from the surgery. Please try it! Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies Flag this Response
  • HI, I'm sorry to hear about your daughter, and I can tell your heart is broke for her. I hope some of these other suggestions given here can help fro now as I think you're right about getting another Dr. in your area to go up against the one that did the surgery. It sounds like he's hit or cut a nerve. This happened to me, it was a head gastric Dr. in a large city. He did what was suppose to be a one hour outpatient surgery, it turned into a 3 hour one of which I was wide awake and struggling the last 2 hours. He tore up a really important part of my biliary tree jamming ( causing chronic pancreatis) the equipment in and out trying to make a cut and I was hospitalized for almost 5 days due to bleeding. Long story short, he told my family and I what had happened but on the papers he wrote it was a complete success. I couldn't eat, the pain was incredible and I kept getting sicker and sicker. it turned out what he'd done had caused the gastric acids that are suppose to go into the small intestines weren't able to get out and was eating me up from inside. Once a week I would drag myself out of bed and go to another dr somewhere in the city but as soon as they heard his name and saw what he'd wrote in the wrote they would let me know they weren't interested. It took one old Dr. to finally tell me the truth. That this Dr. was a well known alcoholic, well known being the key word, and no one was going to go back in an try to fix his mistakes. This old fellow was retiring at the end of the week I saw him and said he didn't give a " hoot", he could tell the truth as he didn't care what they thought of him. I loved that guy. It took 4 1/2 months before the Drs that had been in the room during my procedure to come out and tell the truth, being in a coma for 3 weeks, then another 16 months to find someone to go in and fix all the resulting damage. I've told you this to tell you please don't let her give up, you either. If you have to and your insurance will allow it, go to another city, another state, whatever, call or go online to other state's medlines to find another dr. It is possible to repair nerve damage ( if that's what has happened) most of the time and if you don't do it you'll always wonder what you could have done. You might be able to find a Neuro dr. right in your area. I'm a Mom and I know we spend our lives trying to make our children's lives better, it's what we do and you just don't sound like a Mom that can except this is it for her daughter if she could do ANYTHING about it. I'll pray that no matter how this comes out your child will find peace with the answers, and cross a few fingers and toes for ya too. Take care, Katb
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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