was I malpracticed by my doctor?

mariah16 Member Posts: 2
edited 23. Apr 2017, 22:57 in Young people's community
Hi there, my name is Mariah, im 21 and suffer from facet joint arthritis in my lower spine. I injured my spine when I was 16, I had jumped off a rock and landed with my back, hips and my knee unbent which resulted in my joints jaring. I didnt think anything at first, it hurt incredibly and each time I sat down it was harder to move when I got back up and by the end of the night I couldnt walk on my right leg without my knee giving way. I was on crutches for a month before I could walk again and my doctor couldnt figure out what was wrong. It wasnt until a year after I injured it that she reffered me to a specialist because I wouldnt stop going to her and asking for help as to find out what was wrong with it. I had failed my courses in school which were mostly physical subjects as well as hospitality because I couldnt stand long enough and even lost my job because I could no longer lift heavy objects and wanted to find out what was wrong so I could try and fix it just so I could do the things I used to.
The specialist said I had a swollen disk and game me an MRI scan which he said at the time, had shown something but he wasnt sure and concluded that I would have to wait until I was 25 to get a scan again to see if I have arthritis and that he can only put it down as a mechenical problem in my spine. He referred me to a pain specialist who, as soon as I walked in the door, asked why I was so young yet suffering from an 80 yro's pain. Even after explaining injuring it, he told me, and I quote, "this pain is all in your head". He referred me to a psychologist who broke me down to the point of me leaving in tears because every session she would ask me how I could get past me back problems and every solution I came up with (change of jobs, different people I could see to help) she would tell me I couldnt because I had no money or no job or that I couldnt change that because I had back pain that wasnt being caused by anything.. I stopped the therapy and went back to my dr searching for answers, for solutions but she would give me a prescription for panadol osteo. Eventually after 3 years of trying I stopped seeing her about it, I realised my back pain would never be diagnosed until I get another scan.
Anyway, I was careless and leaned on the sore part of my back last month (2 years after giving up) and booked a drs appointment with my new dr. I told her about my back pain and she opened my file to look for the letter from the specialist but when she did, she found an unread letter from the specialist that I saw, from just days after his first letter, stating that after a closer look, he found that I have facet joint arthritis with synovial syst. This letter was recieved in 2012 and I was only told a month ago. I was put through therapy and ignored by my doctor because she thought it was all in my head.

Has this happened to anyone else and what can be done? I feel like I was wrongly treated and that if my doctor had done her job, I could be 3 years ahead of where I am now, I could have a job and a life and I could have had treatment before it got to the point it is now where I can barely clean my kichten without having to lay on the ground aching in pain afterwards.

I would love to hear from someone else who may have advice or are a young arthritis sufferer like myself and how they deal with it. Thanks.


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Mariah16,

    Welcome to Arthritis Care Forums. As mods we are here to help with any problems you may have on the message boards.

    There are lots of lovely people here with a wide range of experiences with arthritis and the problems of living with the condition. Just join in wherever you like you will be made very welcome.

    I look forward to seeing you posting on the boards.

    All best wishes,

    Mod Emma
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,686
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Mariah and welcome from me too. You've certainly paid dearly for jumping off that rock and, if we can help on here re the arthritis then we will but we are neither docs nor lawyers. Given that OA often sets in on the site of an injury, I'd guess that you'd have a job on your hands proving malpractice. Have you tried asking P.A.L.S. about it?
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • WyleECoyote
    WyleECoyote Member Posts: 38
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I can't imagine how infuriating that must have been. If it's any consolation, those conditions are not easy to treat and you could have very well been in the same place clinically now even if you had known. It certainly would have given you more confidence to reject the 'it's in your head' advice of the therapist thought wouldn't it?

    Unfortunately for many of us who developed facet joint arthritis early, we didn't get clarity on the cause of our pain for many years for similar reasons... they don't rush to do MRIs of young people due to cost. So a lot of people went through the 'it's not physical let's talk about you...' therapies. (I didn't personally but I know people who did.)

    The best thing you can do is to think about how you are going to manage your condition now you know what it is. And use your experience to remind yourself not to take 'No' or 'Its too hard to fix' for an answer. There are better drugs and far, far better surgical procedures available now. Let us know how you get on once you have spoken to a doctor you have confidence in and what you are doing for your treatment plan. There is light at the end of the tunnel.