Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Looking For A Surgeon

Did you know that it is almost impossible to find an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in patients with autoimmune diseases?  For the last week it has been my mission to find an orthopedic surgeon who might really understand lupus.   I live in St. Louis, MO and I was certain I would find one at Wash University Hospital or at least maybe a referral to go to another hospital in a different state.  I even emailed the Lupus Foundation and they really didn't have anyone in mind at all.
This is why it is so important for us to spread the word about Lupus.  Most doctors know of it but don't really understand what it is capable of doing to our bodies. 
My lupus is definitely taking its toll on my joints, ligaments and quad tendon.  This is what I have found that applies so much to me...

Why are joints affected by lupus?
As part of the inflammation involved in active lupus, the thin membrane of connective tissue called the synovium that lines certain joint spaces (for example, in the knees, hands, hips) grows and thickens. This change in size and associated inflammation causes pain and swelling not only in the joints but in the tendons and fluid-filled sacs called bursae that normally serve to reduce friction between body tissues. Connective tissue inflammation also can prompt the release of chemicals capable of eroding bone or destroying cartilage

I have had seven surgeries on both of my knees in the last four years.  Some were full knee replacements and then the rest were revisions or some tearing going on in my knees.  One day I actually brought in something for my surgeon just to take a look at regarding lupus and he told me he didn't have time to read anything I brought in.

I really think surgeons mean well but if you are going to look like you are going to be a returning customer then they want to get rid of you.  If you can't be a success story for them then they want nothing else to do with you.

Let's face it Lupus isn't going to go away any time soon so l say learn to deal with it!

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