80-year-old lady with longstanding varicose veins of right lower extremity.
She presented mostly at insistence of a family member concerned about the appearance of the veins. The patient, instead, was fixated on a chronic right knee pain for the last 5 years that plagued her despite a total knee replacement (TKR) done 5 years ago. While I was attempting to gather necessary vein history, the patient consistently re-directed the conversation to badmouth the orthopedic doctor who she felt has botched her TKR since she was left with daily aggravating right knee pain. The sonogram I performed of the right lower extremity confirmed that indeed her right GSV was diseased, back flowing in entirety, feeding the varicosed visible tributary veins. I encouraged her to have the simple curative vein procedures performed mainly due to some unhealthy skin changes present in her lower leg due to the vein problem. She consented.
Her procedures were performed without complications and her healing uneventful. At her first post-op visit shortly after procedures, lo and behold, the chronic knee pain she blamed on the orthopedist’s botched knee repair, was completely gone. And in follow-up later, the knee pain was still resolved.
Dr. Bell: “The take-home for me in this case is pity for the poor orthopedic doctor who had performed his job properly, but was wrongly bad-mouthed far/wide for several years by this patient, and likely resultantly negatively impacted his referral pattern from the patient’s influential circle of contacts. I can only hope that she rendered him an apology later.”