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Ron72

Left Hip Pain

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Have ongoing progressive Left hip pain. Any opinions on VA care or outside care. Am lucky enough to have a choice. VA no co-pay outside co-pay. How is VA orthopedic?

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From what I have read here, some veterans love getting treatment at the VA while others avoid it.

I personally prefer to take the combination route by getting as much done for free by the VA like exams, imaging, therapy, etc... You could always go outside, but co-pay and deductibles would be factors. They could add up if you are sent to therapy several times a week.

Some years ago, I took that approach for a shoulder issue. I found out the VA was going to let student surgeons perform the surgery under the oversight of a staff surgeon. Because I had private insurance, I opted for a non-VA sports medicine doc, the kind who works on professional athletes. He reviewed the VA records, did the surgery, and followed up on the recovery.

Other members likely will post their recommendations.

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On 8/1/2018 at 11:10 AM, Ron72 said:

How is VA orthopedic?

That is comical to me. Why? Sit back and let me tell you about a little nightmare experience I once had.

I dislocated my left shoulder on a canoe trip. Fortunately a veterinarian on the trip was able to put it back in place. I went the next day to the nearest VA in Tennessee. I believe it was associated with Vanderbilt University. I checked in and had an X-ray of my shoulder. I sat there all day while they argued about wether my shoulder was in place or not. 

Later when I was back in my home town area I told my doctor about my left shoulder and was sent to ortho at Durham Va. They said I could wait 16 months for an MRI or I could drive four hours to the Asheville VA and get it much sooner. I decided to get the MRI at the Asheville VA. I forgot to get travel pay while I was at the Asheville Va. It took an act of congress to get that settled.

I check with the Durham VA after my MRI should have been there and they said they hadn't seen it. I called the Asheville VA and asked about the MRI. They told me who at Durham had signed for it and what time. I called Durham VA back with this information and asked them if they thought they could find the MRI now.

I met with the orthopedic doctor and discussed what could be done for my shoulder. Because it had been dislocated so many times it needed some bone added to make the bone fitting in the socket more rounded. The doctor was going to locate the needed bone and let me know about surgery. We had surgery scheduled and everything was good to go.

The orthopedic doctor calls me later and says something is wrong with the doner bone. Surgery has to be cancelled. My next ortho appointment is rather strange. I am meeting with some girl who is asking all these questions like I have never been there before. I keep asking why she doesn't look at my records. She appears to be getting frustrated and I am getting pissed. A doctor who I don't know that is there says something about cutting my arm off. Now I am really getting pissed. I find the woman who is always there to try to find out what the hell is going on. 

Well apparently the orthopedic doctor, who I now believe was just a student, had my records in his trunk or something. I went on a letter writing campaign after this fiasco, but the Durham VA did there own cya. The lady who was always there in ortho wrote I was getting frustrated because of all the different doctors I was having to see. I only saw one orthopedic doctor, or student, what ever he was. 

Well this was enough for me and now it has been several months since my last left shoulder dislocation. From the fiasco at Vanderbilt where they can't tell the shoulder is in place or not, the lost MRI, surgery cancelled and then they don't even know who I am at the next ortho appointment I have had enough. No way in hell am I letting these clowns near me with a scalpel.

I had an orthopedic consult with an outside doctor about my neck. The VA was willing to let me get it done outside of the VA. The ortho doctor told me it would eventually need to be fused. I decided it was probably better to take my chances with the outside doctor now than possibly be stuck with the VA if I waited till later. I just pray I can avoid any dealings with any VA surgical units in my area. 

On 8/1/2018 at 11:10 AM, Ron72 said:

progressive Left hip pain

I have found that exercise is helpful. Deep tissue massage therapy by a very experienced person has been very helpful for me. Acupuncture has been helpful. I know everyone is different and everyone handles pain differently, but when you get cut on there is no going back. When the scalpel is involved there are a huge number of risks that come into play. 

 

Edited by kanewnut

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