Kaiser Permanente - Worse off after surgery by Kaiser Podiatry
I’m adding my story after being completely and utterly frustrated in my attempts at finding help. Lawyers seem to think it’s not worth the expense (due in part to California laws limiting cases like mine to $250,000), I spent the better part of 8 months chasing after 8+ attorneys, usually getting referred/passed along from one to another in total frustration. I also had zero luck in getting a state consumer/health board to respond to my complaint.
I’ll refrain from naming names, aside from specific departments. I have had foot pain for some time, and saw a podiatrist with Kaiser when starting a new job. Before x-rays were even taken the dr. said it was a bunion, with either surgery or orthotics my only option. I was very hesitant , and wasn’t able to afford orthotics (Kaiser didn’t cover them) which were $150+. Six months later I was forced to consider surgery, saw the podiatrist several more times, and had a bunionectomy on 12/23/2013. I was assured by the dr. that there were no chance of major complications, nor any other issues. Everything was stated in a very ‘perfect scenario’ way.
After a month of rest I was able to walk again, but immediately noticed pain in the ball of my foot. Not exactly as it was before, but not dissimilar. Over the next three months the pain increased, as did my visits to the operating podiatrist. X-rays were taken again, and I now received a different prognosis with each visit. On one visit it was a neuroma, for which she wanted to inject cortisone (I refused). The next visit she thought orthotics would help (still not covered, still couldn’t afford), and finally on the fourth month she thought it might be the screws, but referred me to physical therapy instead. The physical therapist “hadn’t worked on a bunion injury in years”, so now it was just guess work. Three visits over a month with no reduction in pain.
Now it’s 6/25/14 and I’m back for my 6th post-op visit with the operating podiatrist. The pain is worse than it was before, and it hurts whenever I walk or stand, with the foot often throbbing otherwise. The dr. appears be be quite frustrated now, and just said “these surgeries can take as long as a year to heal fully”, and said to come back at that time. I was basically tossed aside.
I requested a second opinion, hoping to find a podiatrist that was outside of my original doctor’s region, but ended up being referred to a podiatrist that works closely with her. The first thing I hear is “the foot looks beautiful, what a wonderful job she did”. She looked at the x-rays and stated the pain was actually from sesamoiditis (a small bone under the ball of the foot), and wanted to inject cortisone for pain, stating it would only alleviate the pain for a short time. She offered no other options other than orthotics (again). I refused the shot.
I now spoke with my primary physician, and he referred me to an orthopedic surgeon. It was now October, 10 months post op, when I had my appointment. He appeared sincere and honest, stated it was indeed sesamoiditis, and seemed to indicate a surgical error was made by the operating podiatrist. He was actually apologizing on her behalf…….but in the end he basically stated I would be like this for the rest of my life. He offered no suggestions, no course of action. Prior to the surgery I had been very active in soccer, playing 5 times a week. He now said that not only would I never were soccer shoes again (cleats), but I probably won’t be able to play again, at least not to the level I was before.
By this time I’m in shock, angry, and very emotional. While my issue isn’t as severe as many of those I’ve read here, it’s changed my standard of life, and I’ve walked with a limp ever since. I once again spoke with my primary physician (the one dr. I felt I could trust in my entire time with Kaiser). He said “it looks like the surgeon made a mistake, and the rest are covering for her, but don’t tell anyone I said that”.
With that in mind I decided to leave Kaiser, despite having several issues ‘in-progress’. I immediately saw an orthopedic surgeon with the new insurance, had both x-rays and a cat scan taken of my foot, and a totally different diagnosis. I was now told that I had a fairly bad case of arthritis in my foot, something that must have been developing for at least four years. Now being paranoid about ‘physician honesty’, I had a second opinion with the same result.
So there you go. It took two years plus to get a proper diagnosis, one (possibly) unnecessary surgery, and 20 months of pain and frustration. Kaiser not only mis diagnosed my condition, they also failed to properly investigate the source of my pain (not one cat-scan, and only one mri after 10 months post-op). It turns out the operating podiatrist was also sued for a similar case, and Kaiser lost the case for the total of 1 million plus. I had other issues with Kaiser, and the above experience only reinforces my opinion. It really feels like Kaiser isn’t concerned with honesty or care, only getting patients in and out as quick as possible.
And yes, as you must, I laugh every time I hear the “we want you to thrive” line in Kaiser advertisements.
This person wrote the review because of "mis-diagnosed, mis-treated, abused, ignored and insulted." of bunionectomy surgery from Kaiser Permanente. Reviewer claimed that he or she wants Kaiser Permanente to offer any options to resolve the issue.
The most disappointing in user's experience was wrong advise, felt unimportant, mis-diagnosis and lack of care. The author asks this business to immediately contact him/ her to briefly discuss his/ her negative experience with the company.
We collected other reviews about products and/or services offered by Kaiser Permanente for you to read. This information may help you with your purchase decision.