Can you prevent surgery?

Many doctors look to treat the pain location. Dr. Kille looks to treat the cause of pain.

The problem

Hi, I’m Dr. Kille and today I’m discussing how I helped a patient prevent an unnecessary surgery last week.  A sixty year old woman came into my office on a Thursday with back pain.   I treated her for this issue and then asked her to come in next week for a follow up.  She explained that the following Tuesday she would have thumb surgery and could not come in for awhile.  When I hear the word surgery my ears always perk up. I asked what was going on and found out that six weeks ago she started having thumb pain.  Her doctor had referred her to an orthopedic surgeon who immediately wanted to do surgery to decompress the tendons at the thumbs.

Always try a less invasive form of therapy first

The investigation

I had the patient make a fist with her thumb inside and bend her wrist down.  This is a standard orthopedic test for stenosing tenosynovitis of De Quervain’s, or inflammation of the ligaments of the thumb.  The test caused her great pain.  I tested her forearm for tight ropy muscles of the thumb and found muscles that were way too tight for her build.  Many doctors look to treat the location of pain.  I look to treat the cause of pain.  I asked my patient to cancel the surgery and give me two weeks to relieve the pain because I knew I could help her with chiropractic techniques.

If your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail or if your only tool is a scalpel knife …

The Treatment

That day I adjusted her elbow and wrist, worked the muscles in her forearm and applied kinesio tape that continued the treatment for the next three days.  She came in four days later with a 70% decrease in pain.  My patient no longer needed surgery, however due to her work stress she did have to do self stretches and some therapy for awhile.

I believe my patient was properly diagnosed but surgery was not the answer.  If you go to an orthopedic surgeon for an opinion, often the answer is surgery.  Please get a second opinion by someone that believes in less invasive therapy first.