Old School Liability 2

February 12, 2010 by admncc

I published a similar post on July 21, 2008, well before 99% of you followed The Constant Complainer.  But back then I was a rookie blogger and couldn’t give this topic the exposure it deserved.  So I cleaned it up a little and it’s back for its day in the sun.

I’d like to tell you a true story about a 13-year-old boy.  This boy was at a Cub Scout event and was playing a game called capture the flag.  During the game, he got tackled and hurt his right hip.  It was very sore, but he kept playing with his friends.  Eventually, he went home and told his parents that he hurt his leg.

The boy’s parents called his pediatrician the next morning.  And the boy went in for an appointment.  The doctor checked him out, did some mobility tests and declared the injury to be a pulled muscle.  She indicated the boy would be fine in a few weeks.  No x-rays or prescriptions needed!  Excellent, the boy thought, as he had two baseball games upcoming.

The first game was later that week.  At that game, the boy was the pitcher and played the game of his life – extreme hip pain and all.  He pitched nearly the entire game, but unfortunately had to be removed in the last inning due to the pain.  As the doctor had suggested, he took it easy and tried to help the muscle heal in time for the next game.

The next game day arrived and the boy was playing first base.  He was visibly still in pain, but he kept playing.  At one point, he was up to bat and hit a ground ball.  As he tried to run to first base, his hip was so sore that he couldn’t.  A parent in the stands (angry that the boy seemed to be walking to first base) stood up and yelled “he can barely run – take him out” and several other parents agreed.  The boy’s father was sitting there and heard this.  He decided to immediately take the boy to the emergency room.

At the hospital, an orthopedic surgeon determined that the boy had actually broken his hip while playing capture the flag at Cub Scouts.  And the boy’s pediatrician had misdiagnosed him because the tests she ran were inadequate.

That 13-year-old boy was me.

You know, 22 years later, not a week goes by when I don’t think about how my life was changed forever due to this injury and the doctor’s misdiagnosis.  My hip was not only broken, but playing baseball and two weeks of day-to-day activities had permanently and irreparably damaged my leg.

I had to have two hip surgeries and one knee surgery.  I was in a wheelchair for one week, was on crutches for six months and then had to use a cane for three months.  To this day I have back pain because my leg’s growth was stunted.  I also walk out of kilter and have to wear special inserts in my shoes.  Plus I see a chiropractor regularly.

This happened 22 years ago.  I suspect had this happened in 2010, my parents probably could have sued the pediatrician, the Cub Scouts or the kid that tackled me.  However, back in the 80’s, we just accepted the doctor’s mistake and moved on.  But like I insinuated, it’s still a bitter pill to swallow.

Don’t think I can’t operate day to day, because I can.  I’ve passed every medical test possible and my hip has been deemed perfectly healthy.  The spirit behind this post was to describe the pain and suffering I’ve endured over the years as a result of what happened.

The reason this was on my mind was because I recently wondered if that same pediatrician (who misdiagnosed me) was still practicing medicine.  So I made a few calls.  Not only is she still practicing medicine, but she is still at that exact same office.  Irrationally thinking, of course I want to call her and tell her off – as a thank you for 22 years of hip, knee and back pain.  In the same breath though, I feel the time is well overdue to let it go.  I’m sure her answer would be that she did the tests she thought she were necessary back then.  Maybe I should have gone to the emergency room when I was first injured.  My parents didn’t think I needed to.  I was a young kid and thought I could walk it (whatever the injury was) off.  To this day I wonder how I walked around and played baseball with a broken hip.  It seems unreal, but it happened.

I guess what ticks me off is that I’m just another statistic in the area of medical malpractice.  But that doesn’t ease my pain any – that’s for sure.

All Posts / Family/Lifestyle / Medicine Baseball / Broken Hips / Capture the Flag / Chiropractors / Cub Scouits / Doctors / Games / Hip Injuries / Injuries / Malpractice Lawsuits / Medical Errors / Medical Malpractice / Moron Doctors / Orthopedic Surgeons / Pediatricians / Pulled Muscles / Surgeries /


  1. Zig the "People" person says:

    Get over it! When I was in Highschool, I was playing basketball and came down with a rebound on another player’s ankle and broke my ankle. I was told, by the coach, to sit out the rest of the drill. When I got hom,e my father saw how bad i was hobbling and immediately took me to the urgent care for x-rays. Sure enough… It was broken. The only negligence occurring the day of your acident was you parents’ negligence! Get over it and pop a few tylenol!

  2. Dan says:

    I think Zig is wrong. Your parents weren’t at fault. Blame the incompetent doctor.

  3. We all know mistakes are made but nobody wants to be on the wrong end of the mistake. You have outlined things that could have been done differently but weren’t.

    It’s hard to completely let go of something like this but it doesn’t do you any good to hang onto it.

  4. Marissa says:

    I agree with ReformingGeek. But it’s still hard to deal with the memory of the unnecessary pain and struggles over all those years.

    Nowadays, we have to get 2nd and 3rd opinions because these doctors are so far from perfect, if not total incompetents.

    My son’s pediatrician misdiagnosed his chronic ear infections as just a nuisance childhood condition. Had I gone with my gut feeling that it was worse than that, my son wouldn’t have had to endure surgery and permanent moderate-to-severe hearing loss in one ear. It kills me because he loves music and plays guitar.

  5. NeoConDon says:

    You have to be kidding me…???? The evil fascists in congress and the Tyrant in the White house is trying to pass on gov’t healthcare and cap and tax legislation, and you’re complaining about your stupid hip? Get a clue and stop complaining.

  6. The Constant Complainer says:

    That comment is about what I expected from you, Don. Haha. In case you’ve forgotten, this is a complaint-based blog. And since my back hurts today, this post is the result.

  7. thinkinfyou says:

    I hate doctors! As you can tell from my last post,they bore me,and half the time I wonder how they got their license. What I didn’t say in my post,was that I was in the office to get off the anti depressant this lovely MD put me on a year ago for my panic disorder. The pill started giving me horrible side effects, Bruxism so bad that I’ve chewed through numerous month guards, I was sweating so bad at night that I’d have to get up and change clothes,sleeping all day, not to mention weight gain that I absolutely can’t stand.Plus I still had anxiety symptoms ,which I don’t know if it was my body or the drug that was causing it.
    I really want to learn to control the panic through natural things ,and frankly I don’t like to fill my body with chemicals.
    When I told her I didn’t want a refill and wanted to try to go naturally,she proceeded to tell me that I might kill myself,so if I did,would I please give her a call beforehand. I wonder if she’s getting paid from the drug company that makes this shit!
    Anyways, as you can tell I’m a little bitter,and struggling with horrible withdrawals right now,so I totally understand you writing this rant!

  8. Extreme John says:

    I always love to see the exchanges between Don and everyone else here, I remember it from the first time I visited your blog and still get to enjoy it now.

    It’s been a lot of years and the pain and daily reminder sucks, medicine was different back than and so were parents to some degree. I was diagnosed with scholiosis as a kid, when in fact 20 years later I found out that I have two discs fused together in my back which ultimatley led to me rupturing the disc above it. Everyday sucks with back and neck pain, I can’t really blame my parents or the doctor, they went with what they had.

  9. tera says:

    I think doctors, then and now, suffer from too many patients to see in too little time. I hate going to the doctor – I have to wait too long, see the dr for too little time and feel like they aren’t listening to me at all.

    I shudder to think what will happen if the health care debacle gets passed.

    In any case – I hope you are feeling better!

  10. Leo Nevoli says:


    It might be me, but I think you are looking for some reassurance from your new audience, because you want to go to the doctor’s office and tell the doctor off. Your original post was in 2008. You also brought up the original posting in the April 9, 2009 “What’s Up Doc?” Now in 2010, you bring up the incident and original post again. Like Doc Brown and the Flux Capacitor, you seemed to have put your entire life’s focus on this one event. You clearly want to blame the doctor not only for misdiagnosing you the first time, as you should, but also for maybe having your life turn out the way it did. Sure you are filled with anger, but unfortunately, it has been over 20 years, and you can’t go back and change what the doctor did. As angry as you are, you have to live with the pain in the leg, and how the doctor took a part of your childhood away from you. I am sure you are thinking what would have been different. Would you have been able to get a baseball scholarship to a big name college; would you be working where you are now; would you be a professional baseball player or coach; and a whole bunch of other questions.

    You can’t change what has been done, but if you feel that you can receive some closure by talking to the doctor, I suggest you do it.

  11. The Constant Complainer says:

    Leo, you might be reading too much into it, my man. I really don’t wonder too much about how my life could, would or should have turned out because on this injury.

    My point was that, in this case, it’s just hard to not think about that doctor, you know. When there’s consistent pain, it’s natural to think about the root of the pain.

    Zig thinks I should take some Tylenol and NCD thinks I should get a clue. Maybe they are both right. LOL. But you are right; closure is needed in some form, because even if there’s physical pain, I can’t change that, but maybe the older feelings would slightly fade.

    Oh, and for the two people who e-mailed saying that I should sue the pediatrician now, all statutes of limitations have passed, unfortunately.

  12. Titfortat says:

    What do you call a doctor who finishes last in his/her class…Doctor.

    In life, pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

  13. This is an unfortunate story, in my view the doctor should have been held responsible and a mark placed on the doc’s record and insurance history to inform other patients, deter re occurrence, and so future patients could have referred to this history in the event the doc screwed up again.

  14. While I’ve never experienced anything like this I certainly feel compassion towards your situation. I think a complaint should have been registered and the doctor should have been reviewed and properly reprimanded. You could have been in a wheel chair for the rest of your life by no fault of your own. A pulled muscle and a broken hip are drastically different from one another and if the doctor can’t tell the difference she needs to have her license taken away until she goes back to school and figures things out. I can’t believe these people are let out of the cage.

    To NeoConDon, don’t you have 4 children? I sure hope you are not as lacking in compassion with them as you are with others.

Leave a Reply