My journey as a long distance runner who started the sport later in life.
I have been for a second opinion with a hand trauma surgeon. He has built his practice such that he runs his own show at the newest hospital in town, and he has no agreements to be in the network of any insurance companies. I would like to think that it says something about his abilities as a surgeon that he doesn’t rely on guaranteed work via insurance company referrals.
He was able to explain exactly what my problem is with regards to finger stiffness and immobility (thank heavens for my Human Kinetics 12 class in high school, thank heavens for his training in English at U Penn), and he exuded confidence as he explained how he could restore the range of motion in all fingers. He took about an hour with us, drawing diagrams to illustrate proper plate and screw installation (which is lacking in my ring finger). He also showed us some images of poor quality and good quality techniques. According to him, if done correctly, no splint should be required, not even for sleeping. He says that surgeons only use those if they don’t think their surgery work is stable. Not a good sign.
He was disgusted that my hand and fingers had been left the way they were. He didn’t even ask who had done the work, but I didn’t get the impression that he was buddies with my first surgeon as the PT doctor had implied. He mentioned a buddy, but when I asked who it turned out to be his partner at his practice and not my (former) hand surgeon. He was also horrified by the stories out of my physiotherapy experiences. He agreed that a positive atmosphere was an important part of the healing process that was obviously lacking for me the first time around. He agreed that my new happy PT place close to my house could be a part of my rehabilitation, and that I would only go to his clinic once a week to get the marching orders for the PT technicians at the place I like.
Now we will see what the insurance will cover and attempt to get the surgery fully covered. All we can do is wait and see, but with two longer long weekends approaching and a spring break upon us it is hard to say what will happen, if anything, before the break. He did tell me to stop the physiotherapy because it is pointless with my hand in its current condition. A waste of time. Finally someone who speaks my language. He was also very pleased to have a patient that understands biology. He said it is refreshing to have a patient who fully understands the explanations as to what the problem is and how to fix it.