Looking for a doctor who isn't knife-happy
June 30, 2012 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Austin-filter: I dislocated my kneecap and am looking for a recommendation for a sports medicine doctor who will give me a thorough exam including a knee MRI and who will advocate a conservative (non-surgical) approach unless surgery is absolutely necessary. They must take Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. Thanks Metafilter, I know you can solve this!

I've been Googling and found a few doctors here who specialize in knees and take my insurance, but all the info on them says simply "orthopedic surgeon." I may or may not need surgery, but I don't want to go to someone who does surgery and not physical therapy and who will jump to cutting me open as the first line of defense. I'm looking for a more comprehensive approach and prefer someone who deals with athletes. This occurred while attempting to jog Town Lake Trail. If you had a similar injury or know anyone who did, who helped them?
posted by xenophile to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My friend recently posted on FB about a great experience she had with Dr. Burris at Capital City Orthopaedics. According to my friend (an avid runner/triathelete-type with an ankle problem, not a knee problem): "Oh man, super nice guy. Plus I give a little more credibility to a doc who also is a runner and has suffered from ankle rolls...but also someone willing to work with you and meet you where you are." Sorry I don't have more details; my friend is on a plane at the moment.
posted by puritycontrol at 4:34 PM on June 30, 2012

I dislocated my kneecap, but not when running. I fell on a boat centerboard (3/8" thick metal) and it slid under my patella pushing it to the outside of my knee. It popped right back in when I bent my leg (writhing in pain!). I was in a full, ridged brace and on crutches for 2 weeks, then fine. No tears in the ligaments. We were in the boondocks when it happened, though, so it was a regular country doctor with an X-ray machine for me.
posted by cecic at 5:42 PM on June 30, 2012

My daughter did the same type of injury on a trampoline. the ER doc put it back in front and she the orthopedic doc put her in a straight leg brace for 6 weeks. No surgery. This was in Dallas, so I can't recommend an Austin doctor.

I don't think you have to worry about seeing an "orthopedic surgeon" - they do lots of treatments beside surgery. In your googling, try looking for "sports medicine" or include the word "sports" with "orthopedic" and see if you get different results.
posted by CathyG at 6:23 PM on June 30, 2012

I can't help with doctor recommendations, but I just wanted to also agree that seeing a surgeon for this is perfectly reasonable. I dislocated my knee and tore an associated ligament last summer and after seeing the MRI, the surgeon basically said that these kind of injuries either heal on their own or they don't, and there is no way to know until you give it time and try physical therapy. He sent me to physical therapy right away and told me that if it dislocated again, we would likely need to consider surgery but that he had every expectation that it should heal on its own.

I ended up seeing this surgeon because he was the doctor on call for the practice's sports medicine team. However, basically all he did was order the MRI and send me to physical therapy. I found that my physical therapist was much more helpful than the doctor in guiding me through my recovery and getting in to see her immediately (less than ten days after the accident) was absolutely essential to how quickly I recovered.

I know it's just one story, but I hope my experience makes you feel better about seeing a surgeon for this. Also, if you end up needing to get the MRI at a different location from the doctor and you are told there is a wait for an appointment, get the doctor to help you out. Having an acute injury should help you get in right away and the sooner you get an MRI, the sooner you can start PT.
posted by horses, of courses at 6:57 PM on June 30, 2012

I recently went to Austin Sports Medicine with lower back problems (bulged disk, it turned out) and they seem relatively focused on non- invasive treatment.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:03 AM on July 1, 2012

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