Dr Bronwyn La Brooy goes West……!

Escaping the hot and dry Aussie summer, Bronwyn has been Christmas market hunting in Germany!

Sampling gluhwein (hot wine), cheese and salamis around Czech Republic, Germany France and Switzerland she’s been lucky enough to see some incredible landscapes, whilst finding the most beautifully decorated Christmas tree and towns with festive spirit. (Dresden, Germany tops the lists!)
This particular photo taken from the top of the Swiss Alps at a balmy 0 degrees, which was then closely followed by an authentic Swiss hot choccy!
She will be back next week with plenty of stories to be told!
Dr Bronwyn La Brooy

What did our Osteopaths get up to over Christmas?!

Shane Heslop had a lovely time with family over the Chrissy break.  A new pool was put to the test with all the mega hot days we experienced coming in to great use, and a very nice day at the boxing day test with my youngest boy and my father was greatly enjoyed.

  Whilst they did not go away, Shane and fam are gearing up for a Japanese holiday for the last two weeks of January culminating in a week at the snow at Nozawa Onsen.  Lets hope it snows a little bit more, its been a shocking start to the Japanese snow season with tiny amounts of snow compared to what should be normal.

 

Spinal Fusion Surgery – Controversial….?

There is much debate within the medical profession, and even within back surgeons themselves whether spinal fusion surgery is a valid treatment option.

Last year, the government announced plans to stop surgeons billing Medicare for spinal fusions to treat uncomplicated chronic low back pain.

After lobbying from surgeons, the federal government has reversed plans to stop funding a back pain operation critics say is expensive, dangerous and ineffective.

The changes followed a recommendation from pain specialists that there was no evidence spinal fusions helped people with lower back pain.

Spinal surgeon Professor Ian Harris, who has published several studies critical of fusions, said the government’s reversal showed that “doctors and surgeons have too much power, and the government is scared of them and happy to take the path of least resistance”.

Please read this very interesting article….. in the Sydney Morning Herald a few days ago.

We see lots of patients pre and post spinal fusion surgery.  Some patients feel like they desperately need the surgery.  Its always their own decision to make.  But the negative outcomes can be severe so patients should always explore ALL conservative options first, and that includes seeing your own Melbourne Osteopath.

Dr Shane Heslop

Osteopath

Dr Peter Lockhart – Osteopath

Peter Lockhart has extensive clinical experience from working across Northern New South Wales and South-Eastern Queensland. He is excited to have relocated to Melbourne to start his own family and be close to his partner’s family. Throughout his career, Peter has treated various populations including athletes and weekend warriors as well as families and office workers.

Peter is a dedicated osteopath who enlists a modern approach to pain management. He was initially fascinated with the principles of osteopathy, particularly the understanding of interconnectedness within the human body. His style of treatment blends progressive pain academia with classic osteopathic techniques. Peter uses a wide range of methods including trigger point work, strain counter strain, mobilisation, manipulation, dry needling, and exercise rehabilitation.

Peter prides himself on offering experienced pragmatic management strategies coupled with clear communication. Pete’s treatments focus on pain mitigation, improved functionality and the promotion of patient resilience. He integrates his experience as a personal trainer to best solidify ongoing pain relief.

Outside of work, Peter is a passionate surfer, basketballer and food lover.

Some Greedy Doctors are overcharging, so says the Grattan Institute…

The Grattan Institute have released a proposal to make hospital visits and surgery more cost effective.  Read on….

Private health insurance premiums could be cut by up to 10 per cent if private hospitals were made more efficient and stopped over-servicing.

A handful of ‘greedy’ doctors charge their patients more than twice the official Medicare Benefits Schedule fee.

Only about 7 per cent of all in-hospital medical services are billed at this rate, yet these bills account for almost 90 per cent of all out-of-pocket costs for private hospital patients – and patients are often not told of these costs in advance.

Some doctors also charge ‘booking fees’ on top of procedure and consultation fees. These covert fees are not recoverable from private health insurance or Medicare – the patient is left to foot the bill.

The higher fees have nothing to do with the skill of the surgeon or the adequacy of the Medicare Benefits Schedule. The small minority of specialists who charged more than twice the schedule fee are simply greedy.

If these high-charging specialists had imposed fees at 50 per cent more than the schedule fee but no more, patients would have saved more than $350 million in 2018-19

Patients are in the worst position to negotiate fees with their specialist. Quaint pamphlets which encourage patients to ask their surgeons about fees shift responsibility from those who can effect change – doctors, private hospitals, insurers, and government – to those who can’t: powerless patients.  How unfair!  Can you imagine patients having any power to negotiate specialists fees!  I recall an operation for a hernia 8 years ago. I had top private health insurance. No choice re anaesthetist, not told there was an assistant surgeon, 3 weeks post surgery given a bill for $600 for anaesthetist and $300 for the assistant.  Who were these people?!  And how much money does an anaesthetist need to earn!?  If you calculate they were also most likely paid by medicare, my private health fund, AND by myself, and the surgery took an hour maximum, what is their daily wage!!!???

 

LONG NERVE THORACIC PALSY

Jan (not real name) came in to City Osteopathy after complaining of right shoulder weakness of 3 months duration.  She could not lift her arm above 80 degrees due to complete loss of muscular strength, her arm was basically paralysed above that range with little prospect it would recover.

This issue came on basically over a day, she had done the Oxfam walk and a few days later she woke in 10/10 pain in her right shoulder and arm.  She could not use her arm.  She went to hospital, they did a scan which was clear and sent her home with ENDONE (VERY powerful pain killer), and a sling.  Basically she was in all sorts.  She then went to her GP, who sent her to a Physio.  Some treatments did nothing.  She then went to a surgeon with the same outcome.  Her son then discovered that her shoulder blade was winging badly so she went back to GP, then to a Neurologist who diagnosed a Long Thoracic Nerve Palsy.  Treatment options were pain killers, nerve pain medicines, and more or less suck it up, you cannot do anything  Not a good diagnosis for a patient!!

Her pain had reduced but her paralysis was still the same.  After 3 treatments with a Melbourne Osteopath in our clinic, doing gentle osteopathic treatment to focus on getting her shoulder blade, upper back, shoulder and neck all looser and working more optimally, plus specific home rehabilitation exercises over  two months time she now has FULL shoulder mobility, NO pain, and NO winging of the shoulder blade.  Her Melbourne GP cannot believe it, neither can that patient, but then again a different approach can work wonders with a little bit of luck mixed in!