Friday, 12 October 2007

..... Knees & Toes, Knees & Toes

Richard went to see a 'joint' specialist today, a more up market one as well!

He saw a specialist eighteen months ago because after his wonderful hip operation - his knee gave up the ghost.

It seems he suffers from a very aggressive form of arthritis. One minute he has a perfect hip - within one year it is totally shot to pieces and needs immediate replacement!

Then the same happened with his knee - but the problem this time is, as everyone keeps telling him, he is really too young to have a knee replacement! With the hip, he was too young but at least a replacement lasts about 25 years before you have to have another, and a second one would probably last him to his grave. But a new knee only lasts 10 years and you can only have it done an absolute maximum of 3 times - and then you are really in trouble.

So the first specialist said he had to hang in there as long as possible, but that he could do a 'tidy-up' operation to try and trim away all the crumbling bits to even up the joint. Richard said 'yeah right' as he backed out the door super fast. As you have probably realised, Richard is not fond of hospitals.

One year on, the pain is getting worse and he cannot walk very far at all. At a recent party, two eighty+ ladies said they had both just had a series of injections that have made their arthritic knees 'just like new'! That was it - Richard was down to the doctor's the very next day....

The doctor said first we should get a second opinion on the knee and it seems you go 'up the tree' of specialists each time if you ask for another opinion!

Today Richard presented himself at the super-new, super-flash hospital at Boujan Sur Libron. Wow, was he impressed! The specialist had only a desk, a wifi laptop and two chairs in his massive office, and the desk was a single 'wing of stainless steel' - proper designer gear!

Unfortunately his opinion was also that a replacement it will have to be - but not until Richard is older. A 'tidy-up' op will not help his condition, but the series of injections will for a short while. They inject a special gel which pads out the joint and relieves some of the pressure - so helps relieve the pain.

Luckily Richard is OK about injections (especially when the alternative is going under the knife!) and he has an appointment already booked.......

Cost of the 'super specialist'? 90 € of which 80% will be refunded. Wow! That's expensive for France! I suppose they still have to pay for that desk......

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