...Spent the morning at the orthopedic surgeons, having my bum knee poked, prodded, flexed and X-rayed from multiple angles, all while wearing cute (not!) little paper shorts, even during my long wait in the X-ray lobby, oh the shame and horror.
This is the knee I wrecked, which gave me much trouble most of May and has tapered off some since. X-rays show fluid and possibly some bone weirdness, though not -- hooray! -- on the side that was bone-on-bone, where the surgeon's attempt at getting some useful scarring going seems to have worked. Nor is the hardware left in (three screws) irritating anything. This adds up to something of A Mystery and, nifty views from three different angles notwithstanding, I get an MRI-or-CT scan next week: MRI if "scatter" from the steel hardware doesn't obscure too much, otherwise CT scan. They do a simple scouting run with the MRI to find out.
But that is just the details. The cool thing -- the really cool thing -- is their high-end information storage and retrieval system. Dr. Surgeon (Brits, bear with) never soils his hands with X-ray film or paper files; nope, it's on computer. And when his 18-months-ago recollection falters, all previous images, his notes, all of that, are just a mouse-click away. Once they've called your folder up (and the interview nurse did that ahead of time), it's all right there. The amount of time, fumbling and explaination ("No, you took the big fish plate and four screws out last time") this saves is simply staggering, plus the doc's got a little more time to clue the patient in on what he sees and what he thinks about it. They've also gone wireless for the interview nurses -- she (or he) walks in with her laptop running, quizzes you, and before the nurse has even left the room, the doc's got the details.
A lot of modern medical practice has left physicians in the position of a highly-skilled assembly-line worker, at the mercy of the systems shoving patients past them as quickly as possible; this one appears to instead maximize the ease and speed the doc gets the information needed, with fewer (zero!) papers to shuffle and more time for doctorin'. I'm impressed.
YANKEE RADIO TOOL KIT, #106
5 weeks ago