Doctors and others caught up in surgery scam

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by gunslinger, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. HeyMrTeleMan

    HeyMrTeleMan Colonel of Truth Gold Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Room 10-09
    I cannot thank you enough for posting this.

    I had a two-level lumbar fusion back in 2012. I felt some relief but it morphed into a nightmare that has left me disabled, unable to walk more than 20 feet or so before needing to sit down. (No sympathy, please. Others suffer much worse!)

    The reason for my surgery was severe back pain that I seemed doomed to suffer, due to being a mighty mighty mesomorph, as my fitness trainer used to call me. (She said "Think Ahnold!)
    Narrowing of my spinal column was deigned through genetics. (My uncle was Mr. Alabama!:anon.) After the diagnosis, I went through the 7 (?) stages of grief, swearing the hardware I saw in those x-rays in my doctor's office would never be in my back. Wrong.

    So, 18 months later I was still having pain, getting worse when I went to my old orthopedist from long ago for a shot of steroids and he said, "...before I start shooting you up, let's see what's going on in there." So, another x-ray and viola! Broken screw! I broke into a sweat, sat down and had to be revived. (It wasn't as dramatic as it sounds!) So I went back to the surgeon and he told me not to do anything if the pain was below a 'five', which it was at that time. He also told me it happens occasionally. His colleague uses all kinds of different materials like cobalt and other exotics and even they can break. Mine is titanium, btw. I asked the doc what kind of screws he used and he said they were supplied by the hospital.
    I did some extrapolating on my EOB (final bill, which was $153,000+) and saw the charge for the hardware was $58,000 alone. I figure that one screw (of 6 total) cost $8-9K. I want my money back!

    I never questioned the doctor's integrity but I wonder now if I my hospital got caught up in that scam. Probably too late to sue...

    Edit: My pain management doctor has modalities that help me cope with this (won't take opiods) and he told me, in a moment of candor, that the number one reason for back surgery is back surgery!
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
    Vintage_ and Baxtercat like this.

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