Location: San Francisco, California, United States
Re: Interpret MRI results
This is a valid concern, especially if third parties are looking at your records to determine whether you are eligible for certain benefits.
I don't know if you should address the discrepancies with the dr's office or if you are better off noting them when you apply for those benefits. Also, I don't know whether the dr's office would change their past notes or just put your letter in your file. If your new doctors have information in their files which more accurately reflects your memory of office visits, then a third party would be more likely to believe your version.
As far as whether to send your letter to the doctor, I would still go back to the attorney you talked to regarding the screws. He may want to send the letter himself. Or, he may want you to write a letter to him for his file. Remember to re-read some of the sticky notes and rules about posting on this forum and discovery in lawsuits.
I think you may find it a bit difficult to get the medical records changed at the doctor's office. Maybe all of this has changed in the past year or so since the push for electronic records....In reading through one of my consultations, the pain management doctor described me as divorced...and there were a couple other errors which had nothing to do with my medical condition, but it bugged me that it was incorrect. I told them about it, thinking it would be easy enough to change...but, alas, it was not. There were a number of hoops to jump through and ultimately I decided it wasn't worth the effort.
If your doctor is part of a larger clinic, rather than going through the doctor, maybe you could call the medical records department. Tell them there are some inaccuracies in notes from office visits and perhaps explain that you need for them to be accurate in case you end up filing for disability...and see what they suggest.
I think you need to be really cautious about sending a letter that will go into your file. Since you do not know what the future holds, I don't think you want anything in writing that might inadvertently be used for a purpose other than what you had intended. Not being a medical professional, it could be something as simple as using wrong terminology that could set off a red flag to the insurance carrier in the event you needed a future procedure...etc.
As a matter of fact, it is for this very reason that some doctors are rather circumspect in how they write up their office notes...such as using more generalized terminology than they may have used to the patient at the appointment. Quick example of what I am talking about: at one appointment, in between surgeries when no one could figure out what was causing my pain...I asked my surgeon a specific question because I was looking for information. I've forgotten the exact circumstances by now, but I think it had something to do with arachnoiditis. Instead of getting a straight answer, as I normally got from him, I suddenly felt like we were playing charades. He did not want to give me an answer verbally just in case someone would happen to overhear the conversation. I later found out it was because the insurance carrier could deny me further surgery if I had a particular condition. Same thing with the term "failed back surgery syndrome." If that becomes a permanent part of someone's medical record, it can be a reason for having the cost coverage for further surgery denied.
I'm not indicating you would have this problem, but I just think since we are not medical professionals and only kind of know what we are talking about, it pays to err on the side of caution!
Maybe when you go to the new spine specialist, she will want to make her own discoveries and will ask you all those questions and examine you to see where you are now. You may be given that Ostwerthy pain questionnaire to fill out, which would give you ample opportunity to let the doctor (and the record) know you have pain when sitting, etc. You can establish a record with the new doctor.
Regarding the screws, if you cannot tell from imaging if the screw is broken, they can do a hardware block, which is similar to a nerve block. I think a bone scan is also used to try to determine if there is a pseudo-arthrosis, which often goes hand in glove with a broken or migrating screw.
The Following User Says Thank You to teteri66 For This Useful Post: SweetPeainSF (04-18-2012)
Yesterday my physiatrist told me there is nothing more she can do for me and referred me back to Emory for surgery.
I asked her twice in the appointment if she received the xray report from Emory that said my screws are fractured and both times she gave me the same answer, It doesnt matter Donna because all of your hardware is going to have to be reworked anyway.
Today, I got approval on short term disability. It expired yesterday....now at least I can stretch that money probably 2 or 3 months with a lot of effort!
Next appt is May 9th.
The following user gives a hug of support to Donna022: SweetPeainSF (04-27-2012)