By Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist
Have you ever felt that your doctor missed the point?
Your knee is sore and you've been told that it's due to osteoarthritis. It's reached a point that you find that you avoid stairs.
When you finally visited the orthopaedic surgeon, he suggested that you were too young for surgery and that you should only come back when the pain was terrible or after you were 60 years-old? You leave his consulting room and then it strikes you.
It's great that you don't need surgery but you're still in pain! It's still limiting you. You can't play tennis anymore, you can't squat down without discomfort and you surely don't feel like going for a long walk.
What's the solution?
This is unfortunately a common scenario. Healthcare can be a maze and negotiating the right path for you is often complicated, time-consuming and frustrating. Healthcare professionals unfortunately often work in disparate, un-coordinated ways.
It's the reason BJC Health makes Connected Care our priority.
As a rheumatologist, I see the goal as providing a solution for the problem that apatient presents with.With knee pain, especially when the answer is not surgery, there are many options. Pain relief is required. That's just step 1.
Step 2 is the need to address the underlying cause if possible and more realistically, if its osteoarthritis, to slow down progressive damage. That might involve sometimes confronting discussions about the need to get serious about weight loss and/or the fact that you may be deconditioned & unfit. We may need an appropriate, focussed exercise program to strengthen the knee.
Maybe the problem is not just the knee. The whole lower limb biomechanics and gait needs to be assessed as we work out ways to prevent the other joints suffering the same fate.
We recognised that the way forward in improving the treatment of arthritis & other musculoskeletal complaints would involve a coordinated, comprehensive service that no one doctor or allied health professional could reasonably provide.
BJC Health's team of doctors, exercise physiologists, dietitian, nurse and physiotherapists work together.
Have you been in a situation where your doctor missed the point?
Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health.
BJC Health provides a connected care multidisciplinary team philosophy to deliver positive lifestyle outcomes through a holistic approach to those with degenerative & inflammatory arthritis, tendon injury and lifestyle diseases. Our clinics are located in Parramatta, Chatswood and Brookvale. Contact us.