I may have been the recipent of a botched ortho surgery... HELP!?!

  1. I need some help from you all, please! I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do. I value the opinions of the nurses on this board, and am hoping to get some advice.

    I've been experiencing extreme pain in the front of my left shoulder thats gotten increasingly worse over the last 6 months. (I fell out of a tree 2 years ago, but the pain only really got going 6 months ago, so ???) I began seeing an orthopedic surgeon 5 months ago, and I initially did PT for 4 sessions, but they discharged me b/c of no progress and terrible pain. I had x-rays, an arthrogram & an MRI. The surgeon said I had a very large bone spur, but the results were otherwise 'inconclusive'. Because the pain was so intense that I frequently felt like I was going to pass out, he scheduled surgery to remove the bone spur and fix any torn muscles. (Before & after surgery, I can only abduct my arm at a 30 degree angle...)

    I had the surgery 2 weeks ago. Moments after the 1 1/2 procedure, the surgeon came out and began rambling nervously to my fiancee about how 'when he got in there he realized the problem was an impacted fracture, and they don't know how they missed it, but they didn't take out the bone spur because the fx was what was causing me so much pain, that they would have never done surgery if they'd have known what the actual problem was etc.' When the anesthesia started to wear off, all I could do was scream. I've been in EXCRUCIATING pain ever since, and the pain I felt in the front of my arm has not been relieved at all and has only continued to get worse.

    I've had 4 follow up appointments to see the surgeon, but for every one, he's had some excuse to not see me, (even though he's been in the office) and sent his PA in to talk to me. (Mostly to watch me sit there and cry, and rx me different NSAIDS/Lyrica/Cymbalta/Ultram/Percocet, etc, to try) I don't know WHY he won't see me... all I can figure is that something went wrong during the surgery, and he's expecting legal action. (?) I saw a copy of my operative report, and it was worded VERY vaguely. (I've been a nurse for 4 years, and I know what "CYA" wording looks like...) but I honestly don't know what to do now. The fx was glossed over and barely mentioned. The last time I saw him was as he was holding the mask to my face just prior to the anesthesia knocking me out.

    I've been taking 7.5 mgs of Percocet q4h, but all that does is take the 'sharpness' off the pain. I can't sleep, I feel nautious b/c I hurt so much, and the PT I'm doing isn't helping the bone pain at ALL.
    In my opinion, I feel like the MD seemingly avoiding me is raising red flags, but I feel so lost as to what to do. I was thinking about a second opinion, though because I've already HAD surgery (albeit, surgery that didn't do anything but uncover a fracture that I don't know HOW they missed, and may have actually worsened the problem) I'm concerned another physician won't want to see me.

    I can't continue to go on like this... I'm only 30 years old, and that's WAY too young to just resign myself to a life of pain and immobility, not to mention that until I get this fixed, I'm unable to work as a nurse, because the pain is keeping me from doing anything with my left arm. Please help.

    Does anyone have ANY idea what I should do? See a lawyer? See another surgeon? See a pain specialist?
  2. Visit HM7380 profile page

    About HM7380

    Joined: Aug '04; Posts: 51; Likes: 21
    Charge nurse; from US


  3. by   KareBear0609
    Don't have any advice for you because I am not a nurse. But I bet the only responses you are going to get is that no one on AN is allowed to offer you any medical adivce.
  4. by   redessa
    I couldn't give you any medical advice even if I wanted to so I'll just say this: If I were you I'd try one more time to see the Dr who did the surgery. If you get there and they try to pawn you off on the PA again, tell them that is unacceptable and you will wait right there in the waiting room till the Dr is available.

    If they still manage to evade you and/or the Dr does not give you a more satisfactory answer than the mumbo jumbo you've gotten so far, seek a 2nd opinion. Maybe no one will want to see you, but you have nothing to lose by trying.
  5. by   NRSKarenRN
    our advice: followup with your pcp and seek second or third surgical opinion. ask your pcp if consult to a pain center at this stage is prudent.

    pain relief is not always instantaneous--differing med combinations along with other modalities may be indicated--each pt is different--need to keep following up until condition is under control.

    wishing you decreased pain soon.

    per our tos, we not offer individual advice, so closing thread.

    proximal humerus fractures

    guide to shoulder problems - shoulder fracture - shoulder ...
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on May 12, '11
  6. by   VivaLasViejas

    Just a friendly reminder that we cannot offer medical advice on these forums, as it's beyond the scope of our practice as nurses or students to attempt to diagnose a medical condition.

    The people best qualified to handle your concerns are an orthopedic surgeon and/or a neurologist. You may want to see a different ortho specialist given the issues you're having with your current one, and that's perfectly OK---second opinions are often very valuable, and are usually covered by insurance. He or she may also want you to see someone who specializes in nerve pain, as well as a physical therapist.

    You may want to reserve thoughts of legal action until you've gotten a more definitive diagnosis, and even then, you'll need the services of an attorney, as we cannot offer any sort of legal advice either. We wish you the best in obtaining relief from your pain, and being able to return to your nursing career.