#852 Orthopedic doctor said come back 4 weeks after fracture - DOC

#852 Orthopedic doctor said come back 4 weeks after fracture

I went to an orthopedic appointment yesterday and they told me to come back in four weeks. What do I do now? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.



Yesterday, I actually went to an appointment with a friend of mine who had an appointment with an orthopedist. She had three fractures, and she wanted to know what she could do in terms of activity while she’s healing and recovering from these different fractures.

First of all, they’re not foot and ankle fractures. So, I just went with her not as her physician, but to serve as a friend and advocate for her at this appointment. And I think this episode is going to explain to you why you really need to do that whether you’re a physician or not.

So, what happened is that we went in, they basically the first question they said was, how much pain do you have today? And I knew for a fact, because I had asked her on the way to the appointment, how much pay did you have in the morning? How much did you have during the day? How much pain you have in the evening? How much pain you have when you’re sleeping,? All those kinds of things and all those were very different pain numbers.

The only thing the medical assistant asked her when she went into the treatment room was how much pain do you have today, looking for one number. Well, it depends on when you take those numbers. So, that’s the first thing is that you need to really understand the difference in your pain details and you need to be prepared to talk about them.

Unfortunately, when you go in there, and they’re in a hurry, they’re rushing you, they’re trying to move you along, and they ask you one question like that, you start to skip the details. So, if you have somebody there advocating for you, they can help you point out those details that actually really do change what you can do, and how you’re going to recover, and maybe even how fast you’re going to recover.

The second thing is, is that when you’re there in that appointment, you need to basically have your advocate, and you both discuss the questions that you want to have before you get there because you will forget things because they start asking you questions. And they’re not trying to distract you, they’re not trying to get out of answering your questions but the way that they ask questions, and since you’re not a doctor may really distract you.  If you have an advocate there with you, who is also thinking about those questions, they can help keep that discussion on track and better focused for you.

The third thing is you’ve got to ask about what can I do in terms of more activity that is safe, right now. What can I do in the meantime, while waiting for the next appointment, because during this appointment, they said, “Okay, you’ve got these three fractures, you’re going to need to let them calm down, you’re going to have to let them settle, no activity, don’t do anything, and then come back and four weeks.”

That’s a month. So, you can’t do zero for four weeks and not do any activity at all, no exercise at all, and expect to maintain your fitness over that course of a month, you’re going to lose all your fitness. So, it’s really important that you know when you can start doing more activity and what it means when you’re able to do more activity. So, you want to ask them what can I do in the meantime and how will I know when it’s actually safe for me to ramp up my walking distance or my weightlifting or add a new exercise.

How will I know when it’s safe to add that thing? That’s what you really have to know. And if you skip that detail, what are you left with? You’re left with waiting for a whole month before you ask a question again. So, make sure you take an advocate, make sure that you really focus on your pain numbers and the variations in your pain numbers during the day. And really pin them down on how you can tell when it’s safe for you to do the next activity.

If you want to know how I walk athletes through that process when they have running injury specific for the foot and ankle that may also help you, you can get that in the fast track challenge. It’s a three day challenge where I walk you through the process day by day what you do every day in order to be able to do it to make those decisions, to start more activity, to safely ramp up activity. You can get it if you go to www.docontherun.com/fasttrack. So, go check it out, sign up and I’ll see you in the training.