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Old 02-03-2013, 01:13 PM   #1
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Bay Area hip folks; arthroscopy surgeon recommendations?

Noticed quite a few Bay Area posters, would love to hear your experiences with, in particular, Dr Thomas Vail at UCSF.

Have heard great things about Thomas Sampson, but alas, too costly, so I'd like to stay in-network of my PPO insurance. I'm familiar with Marc Safran and John Kao, so would much appreciate info on any other experienced/reputable hip arthroscopy practioners around.

Thanks!

 
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:00 PM   #2
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Re: Bay Area hip folks; arthroscopy surgeon recommendations?

Hi there -- my first hip surgery cost me $140 out of pocket; I consider the money I paid to have Sampson do the second and third surgeries (same hip) a much better deal, even though I spent many thousands to do so. However, my insurance paid some of the cost and I had the surgery at St. Francis which was in-network.

I had a consult with Vail, who had some good, practical advice on when to schedule the surgery. I liked that UCSF has a sports medicine component and that they seemed to worked hand-in-hand with physical therapists.

I think that continuity of care is important: I had a back surgery at Stanford, which unfortunately involved a potentially nasty complication. I was very happy that Stanford's Pain Management diagnosed me very quickly. However, I think I am still on the waiting list to see a specialized physical therapist. I was put on the wait list in March 2012. I transferred my care to UCSF's pain management, which continued the same protocol, but got me in to a specialized PT right away.

 
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:08 PM   #3
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Re: Bay Area hip folks; arthroscopy surgeon recommendations?

Thanks, SweetPea

Glad to hear UCSF has treated you well

Would you mind commenting on your interactions with Vail, patience, listening, attentiveness, etc?

 
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:59 PM   #4
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Re: Bay Area hip folks; arthroscopy surgeon recommendations?

Honestly, I had just one appointment with him was in late 2008, so the details are a little sketchly. The overall impression that I had leaving the appointment was that he thought surgery would help me, but did not have a specific plan to deal with what he saw on the MRIs. If I had pressed him, he may have had a plan but wasn't conveying it to me.

I have a specific suggestion in interviewing prospective doctors. Much of my pain post-op came from the traction. The first surgery was with a general ortho who had great difficulty getting into my hip capsule and performed a simple labral debridement. The second and third surgeries involved significantly more work: shaving bone to reshape the joint, for example, but post-op pain was not as bad. I would suggest asking prospective surgeons if they have encountered difficulties getting into hip capsules and what techniques they use to manage this difficulty.

I also have an easy post-op tip to increase range-of-motion, in addition to the recommended stationary bicycle (or continuous passive motion machine). After the third surgery, maybe two days post-op, I began standing and making circles with my hip, while sliding my foot along the floor (crutches for support, no weight on affected leg). I had a lot less stiffness and swelling, especially on the outside of the hip.

 
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