Cyst Gone, Bone Broken, Thanks Doc

As many of you already know, I developed a painful ganglion cyst on the back of my right wrist. It was deep, intertwined with the tendons to my first two fingers which made it painful to type, mouse, play bass, etc.

The first doc I saw was Jenna’s boss, who is a chiropractor. He suggested seeing an MD to have it aspirated. I went to my MD early last week and he referred me to a wrist specialist. This orthopedist promptly shoved a needle in and sucked out the gunk. It felt better for about 8 hours until the cyst came back.

I was irritated that the aspiration only lasted 8 hours, but what’s a guy to do? I made another appointment with the specialist for yesterday.

This time, rather than aspirating it, he decided to rupture it. Most of you have heard the old-fashioned treatment for this malady – smashing a book on it. Well, we’ve advanced beyond that.

This particular doctor had a special vice-like device that he acquired during the inquisition (during which he was already practicing – he’s old). He stuck my wrist in the contraption and started squeezing it down.

Now, I like to think I’m not a giant wussbag, but this definitely hurt. As he was crushing it, I’d say it was about a 9 on the pain scale. I didn’t make any noise – that would have been girly. I had involuntary tears coming down my face, but I was gritting my teeth and taking it like a man.

Then I felt the cyst rupture. That nine on the pain scale jumped up to @#$@$!!#@$!. I had a momentary bout of Turette’s syndrome, and I blurted out “YOU @!#HOLE!”. As soon as it ruptured, the doctor took off without saying a word. He’s probably the most pompous, unfriendly doctor I’ve ever met.

The tech told me to massage the area FIRMLY to keep the cyst from refilling. So I dutifully rubbed it for the next 3 hours until my other hand wore out.

Well, I figured it was just my tendon snapping across the bone, so I ignored it.

This morning, however, my wrist was swollen and red, and I couldn’t bend it. So I went back to the inquisition doctor and they did another x-ray.

Oops. They chipped the bone.


I felt vindicated that I was not really as big a wuss as I thought the day before. Anyone would yelp if someone crushed and broke their bone while they watched.

Anyhow, the doctor seemed much more interested in my case today, much friendlier, and more conciliatory. He offered all of my followup treatment for free (thanks but no thanks) because he could smell his malpractice insurance premiums going up. He told me to splint the wrist for 6 weeks and it would heal just fine.

My MD has referred me to another orthopedist so I can get a second opinion this afternoon.

Whatever else I know, I know for sure that I will not be paying one cent for treatment on this.

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  6 comments for “Cyst Gone, Bone Broken, Thanks Doc

  1. livieloo
    June 19, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Holy crap! I’m glad you’re okay.

  2. joy bourdess
    June 19, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    Gosh Incredipete, I’m sorry this happened to you. This brings out the paralegal in me: Definately pursue the lawsuit. It would not at all be unreasonable. He owed you a certian duty of care, he breached it, and there was damage. This is exactly what they carry malpractice insurance for. Go get what your due, not because your vindictive, but because you are rightfully due just compensation for his malpractice. I wish I could refer you to the right lawyer, but I don’t know anyone. Carefully choose your attorney, you don’t have to hurry. Make sure they do lots of work in med-mal and aren’t the type of lawyer that just takes anything. PLEASE be very diligent about collecting, saving, and organizing every document related to every doctor’s visit and treatment. This is what they are going to base your compensation on.

  3. June 19, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    It will likely be a lot of speculation… he already mentioned that “a fracture could have CAUSED the cyst in the first place.”

    My question then is why didn’t the fracture get noticed on the first set of x-rays?

    But anyhow, he’s nervous and already offered to pay for any treatment I need. At a minimum, I’ll make sure I get that in writing. 🙂

    I am not permanently injured, and my strong dislike for malpractice suits is probably going to influence my decision…

  4. June 19, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    What would you have done if a Vet fractured one of Abbey’s bones??
    I think you would consider it completely negligent.

  5. Wen
    June 19, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    It’s funny, but when I saw the Dr. about my wrist cyst I made a joke about smashing it with a big book. The doctor said “yeah but then you’ll just have a big cyst and a broken wrist…”

    Too bad you can’t see my guy (he re-attaches hands and other cool stuff) but I think the commute would be a little long…

  6. June 20, 2009 at 5:22 am

    Ahhhhh North American healthcare at work! If it doesn’t work the first time then SUE THEM!!! heheheheheh … the “irony” of my comment being that I am having my once-per-five-years-or-so carpal tunnel flare-up. Humph.

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