It was in the midst of a game. Floor hockey. Played on a wooden surface with sticks and a felt puck. Mike Bailey (not his real name) was following the puck with his eyes. He planted his feet and made a quick turn. No one bumped him. No one touched him. But he suddenly dropped to the floor as if he'd been clothes-lined by an invisible linebacker.
Mike was eighteen. His tall, slender form was a regular sight on the local tennis courts and soccer fields. Now he was lying on the floor wondering what had happened. Would he ever play sports again? Helped to his local hospital, he got an x-ray, and MRI, and was examined by a hospital specialist. The diagnosis came back: a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) - a common sports injury associated with quick turns and jump landings.
Mike's doctor said, "You need arthroscopic surgery to reconstruct the injury and replace the torn ligament with a new-tissue graft."
Mike said, "Whoa." This was not what he wanted to hear. Even minimally invasive surgery such as his doctor recommended would require months of rehabilitation. Mike was an active young man, and dreaded being out of action for so long.
Back home, he began having serious doubts. Had his doctor made the correct diagnosis? Was surgery really the best treatment for this injury? His head buzzing with questions, Mike drifted over to the internet and began to search. It didn't take him long to discover Cleveland Clinic and the MyConsult® Online Medical Second Opinion program. MyConsult® is a sophisticated, Web-based extension of Cleveland Clinic's 90-plus-year role as one of America's most respected referral institutions. The secure, online program provides medical second opinions from Cleveland Clinic specialists for more than 1,200 diagnoses that may impact your quality of life or may be more serious.
Mike followed the directions on the MyConsult website. He had his diagnosis, x-rays and MRI sent to Cleveland Clinic. He also asked MyConsult to recommend any questions he should ask or any research he should do regarding the local doctor and his ability to perform the surgery.
Before a week was out, Mike got his answer. Cleveland Clinic specialists agreed with Mike's doctor on the diagnosis and the reading of the x-rays and MRI of the knee. At the same time, they had a lot to say in response to Mike's other question.
It seems that ACL surgery and torn ligament replacement is a complex procedure. There are many points of view about how it should be performed, and which tissues should be used in the replacement. The Cleveland Clinic MyConsult expert gave Mike a full rundown of the options, and the expert's recommendation as to the best approach to Mike's surgery.
Mike may have to give up floor hockey for a while. But thanks to MyConsult Online Medical Second Opinion program, he can be confident in his doctor's diagnosis. Best of all, he can go back to his doctor, armed with additional information about his injury and the proposed treatment. By asking the right questions, he can be assured that he'll have the correct surgery, and the best possible outcome. For Mike, that means getting back into the game.