I finally managed to see an orthopedist on Thursday. I had high hopes for this guy. Not only did he come highly recommended by an exercise physiologist friend of mine--she has a bum knee--but he also had the second fanciest doctor's office I've seen in my life (no number of plasma televisions will ever beat out the lighted waterfall in my former allergist's office).
I gave him the schpeel on my hip. His people gave me a pair of too-big exam shorts (baggy cut circa-1995) and then had me sit outside the x-ray room, where I hoped to goodness that no one remotely male or remotely good looking would walk by (no one did end up walking by and the lovely, dim, atmospheric lighting was very calming so, to tell you the truth, I thoroughly enjoyed the less than five minute wait, even if I did look ridiculous from the waist down). Before I knew it, I was lying still on the cold, metal slab of an x-ray table, holding my breath as the x-ray tech, who was cut from the same mold as every single x-ray tech I've come across in my life--gravelly, smoker's voice, the straight, brunette haircut painstakingly shaped into a mullet, the pale, sandpapery skin, the heart of gold--took pictures of my hips.
The orthopedist's people then escorted me, still exam-shorted, to an exam room, where I changed back into my jeans only to have the doctor poke his head in and demand that I put the exam shorts back on, which I did. He returned a minute later, announced that my hips were pristine, that I was in excellent shape, and that, he'd tell me to go in for an MRI (apparently not available on the fancy premises) but since I'd already had an MRI when I initially tweaked the hip, that wouldn't be necessary and it was safe to validate the physical therapist's two-year old diagnosis of a hip strain. It would act up every now and then and some days would see worse pain than others but I should continue doing what I'm doing (stretching 45 minutes before every single workout) and I shouldn't be afraid of medicating myself (600 mg of ibuprofen, 3 times a day, when the hip acts up).
Okay, so this is long, drawn-out way of communicating to you, my readers, that the orthopedist told me what I already knew. The fact that he didn't once lay a finger on my hip is another story altogether. I'll save my thoughts on that matter for a post about older male doctors, who have issues touching younger female patients and the resultant increase of misdiagnoses in said younger female patients. I fully trust this doc's diagnosis but a more hands on examination would have,certainly, been more reassuring...also, don't orthopedists specialize in muscles as well as bones, so wasn't this doctor wrong in sending me off to stretch out my problems? Shouldn't he be treating my bum muscle? The reason I went to him was because I wanted answers to why the bum muscle keeps bumming out on me. Am I asking too many questions? Should I go back to physical therapy? But the warmup I'm doing prior to every single workout incorporates all sorts of corrective exercises so is that really necessary? Am I asking too many questions?
Any orthopedists out there care to take a stab at this one?