Let me ask you this. Is the doctor you’re taking advice from someone you can trust?
Are they giving you an honest answer? Do you believe they have your best interest at heart? Do you believe they’re giving you the best advice for you, and not just for them?
I heard a story from a patient recently on a follow up visit. They received what was described to them as lubricating gel like injections into their knee after they said they did not want cortisone injections (due to the negative effects of cortisone).
The injections were described to her as injections to help cushion the knee joint by injecting a gel like substance to help the knee feel better from the degeneration that has occurred over time. Nowhere in the literature they were given or in the medical professionals’ description did it mention there would be a steroid within that injection.
When my patient followed up with the medical provider 6 weeks later the doctor informed her that there was no gel, there was nothing that was cushioning the joint. The relief of her symptoms were actually actually do in fact to the steroid that was within the injection.
The steroid took away the inflammation giving my patient the perceived feeling that their knee was in fact better and had more cushioning to it, when in reality all the injection did was take away the inflammation. The medical provider that administered the injection lied to my patient, did not mention there was a steroid included in the injection even after my patient voiced the fact that they did not want a steroid injection.
So once again I go back to the question, do you trust your Doctor? Unfortunately this is not the first story I’ve heard of a Doctor lying to one of their patients just to get them to follow along with their prescribed treatment plan.
I take great pride in my ability to be honest with my patients. I do not recommend any treatment that will not help them recover from their injury. I don’t care if I offer the service that they need or not, I simply care about my patient’s best interest and what is best for that patient 20, 30, or even 40 years down the road.
I am NOT interested in reducing their pain for the short term if it will put them in danger for a worse problem down the line. Steroid injections into a degenerated join reduce the inflammation and pain TEMPORARILY.
At this point, since the patient feels no pain they believe there must not be any problem. They must be healed and ready to continue to use that joint the way in which they have been for many years. The problem is, since nothing was properly fixed, further degeneration now occurs at a faster rate.
These cortisone/steroid injections are a disservice to the patient and ultimately puts them at risk for a far worse injury down the road.
If the patient is made aware they have a bad joint and are allowed to feel the pain associated with that bad joint when they use it too much, they will make the right decisions in order to prolong the life of that joint.
This is the best way to handle cases of that nature and not just give the patient a quick fix that they are looking for if it means it puts them in harm’s way later on down the road.
Doctors need to remember that people trust them to be honest.