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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Broken Elbow
October 2001

Q. My 8-year-old daughter broke her elbow 3 years ago. They cast the arm for about 4 weeks. When the cast was taken off, the doctor said it looked great. She did not need any physical therapy and almost immediately after the cast was removed, she kind of did her own therapy by swimming daily. She also has never experienced any pain in the arm or elbow. However, now the arm looks deformed, like it healed inverted. What steps should we take? I know she will have to have it reset and may even need surgery. Since the doctor said it healed just fine, will we have to pay to have the procedure done over again? I don't feel comfortable going back to the doctor and showing him his work, but I don't want to have another medical bill to have to contend with. Will this turn into a messy law suit?

A. Take your daughter back to the treating doctor right away so he can evaluate treatment needed at this time. You can certainly get a second opinion after that. Pediatric orthopedics is a special field within general orthopedics; a doctor with this background can help you.




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