Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dear Orthopedic Surgeon,

The next time someone comes to you with complaints of severe localized pain in their legs (which is not resolved with rest) and tells you that they're a runner...please refer them for an MRI. You may find that they have developed stress fractures. What you see may look like the legs below. Notice that the leg on the left is normal, and the one on the right is "all banged up" looking.

You could also give them an x-ray, since you probably have one of those handy machines right in your office. If you do, inspect it carefully, as any injury may not be very noticeable. In which case you might be inclined to tell your patient that he has shin splints. Which doesn't really help anyone, and makes it seem like you received your "specialized training" from a Cracker Jack box.

Certainly don't refer him for a Bone Scan, as nothing but a compound fracture is going to show up. Which might also lead you to tell the patient he has shin splints. Which will result in subsequent unnecessary office visits, which will help keep healthcare costs high, and patient satisfaction at an all time low.



  1. You make this sound almost like it has happened to you.

  2. I may have cherry-picked a few CDs out of my medical file while the doctor wasn't looking.