My son has a dislocated elbow.
Well, let me back up. My son’s therapist noticed that his elbow was cracking and popping during occupational therapy. She told us that we should get it looked at. His left arm (affectionately known as "lefty") has never done much for him. It’s always been tight. But the cracking and popping was something new.
We first went to our physician. He referred us to an orthopedist. X-rays showed a dislocated elbow. Three pieces of bone were floating around in the goo of his elbow. The orthopedist sent us to an orthopedic surgeon. His advice was to not do anything and let the arm be.
We didn’t like that at all. So we decided to go to a second orthopedist and get a second opinion.
It turns out that our first doctor was right: we shouldn’t be doing anything. But the second doctor also explained to us why we shouldn’t do anything else. He explained what we should be looking for as a clue that we need to do something in the future.
Too often, we rely 100% on what a doctor says. Too often, we think that the doctor knows best and that we should take what they say as the absolute truth. I’m here to advocate for the process of getting a second opinion.
When we’ve gotten second opinions, I’ve worried about what our primary doctor would think. I’ve even gotten a bit of a hard time from him when the second opinion doctor called him to let him know we swung by.
None of that matters.
What matters is that we’re doing the best we can by our kids. And more information never hurt anyone. Ever. Don’t hesitate to get a second opinion when you get information that you’re uncomfortable with or need a little more guidance on.
Like us, you might get the exact same information or diagnosis. But that second-opinion doctor was kind enough to explain in greater depth why we were doing what we were doing. You are entitled to information related to your child. If a second opinion is how you get that information, so be it.
Find more articles about second opinions here.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs to share their tips and stories about caring for their children during difficult times.