This past Monday at about 4:15, my son dislocated his left
When I got to the school, the boy was pale but seemed okay in the compression device. I was concerned about my insurance not paying for a specialist without a referral. Please don't think me cold hearted. If the trainer had popped the boy's knee cap back in place on the field I still would have taken my son to the ER to make sure he was okay. Just as the trainer was thinking it would be an unnecessary expense to call an ambulance just for transportation, I was really worried about out of pocket expenses if the insurance didn't cover us going straight to the ortho. I called the primary care pediatric and asked for an immediate referral rather than waiting until after, and it's a good thing I did because they wouldn't give me one. They told me to go to the ER.
We got to the ER at 5:05. They didn't put his knee cap back into place until after 8:00. At least they gave him a morphine/valium cocktail first, which he wouldn't have had at the ortho's office. Of course, he wouldn't have needed it if he hadn't had to wait almost 4 hours with the joint swelling! Anyway, the ER took x-rays (during which the knee cap popped out again, ouch!), and no bones are broken.. We didn't get home until almost 10:00 that night, and the ER didn't prescribe anything for pain except otc ibuprofen.
I'm still struggling with guilt over putting money before my son's pain. If I had known there was going to be such a long wait, I'm not sure if I would have done things differently. It's a really hard call. If we had gone to the ortho without a referral, I would owe him a lot of money. The office has signs all over their walls advising that if you don't have a referral, you need to pay for services rendered right there and then. Not to mention the follow up treatment which wouldn't have been covered, because the first visit wasn't covered. Now I only owe the hospital a co-pay, but made my son wait hours in pain... As it was, the hospital tried to collect it's $75 co-pay, and I could not give it to them. It was Monday, I had just spent every last penny getting the boy his books for school. I asked them to bill it to me, they are going to have to wait...
We had an appointment with the ortho yesterday, my son can forget playing any football this season. There is definitely a in his knee, but they are hoping that will heal on its own. They are trying to get us an appointment as soon as possible for an MRI to rule out torn cartilidge, which the ortho assured me would be rare. If there were to be torn cartilidge, there would probably have to be surgery. If not, he has to wear a long leg brace for 3 weeks, a short for at least another 3 weeks, and physical therapy. His thigh muscle has already started to atrophy from the and he's having difficulty picking the leg up because of it. Thankfully the ortho gave him a prescription for something stronger than otc ibuprofen. The kid is in pain! He said the swelling is normal, they don't recommend draining the knee any longer as it will just swell back up. The swelling will probably be there for six weeks!
Here are some pics of his knees I took yesterday at the doctor's office while the brace was off. Yeah, I know, GROSS!
while tackling another kid during drills at football practice. I got the call at about 4:25, and by the time I got to the school (less than 10 minutes) the trainer had already put the leg into a full leg decompression device and called the team doctor. The team doctor is an orthopedic, and was willing to see the boy as soon as we could drive there so the doc could pop the knee cap back into place (the knee cap was completely on the left side of his leg...). Apparently time is of the essence in these kind of injuries. The trainer was leary of popping it back in himself, he thought it would be better to have the ortho do it. Because I live so close to the school and could get there so quickly and get him to the ortho, the trainer didn't think it was necessary to call an ambulance.
7 hours ago