Getting A Second Opinion

See the source imageSeveral months ago, I injured my knee while on a routine run. I nursed the knee for a few weeks but, as the pain increased, I saw my doctor who noted the joint was inflamed. He recommended an orthopedic surgeon. Several ex-rays and one MRI later, the surgeon cautioned that my right knee was “bone-on-bone” and said I needed a partial knee replacement. He gave me a cortisone shot for temporary relief and instructed that I schedule the surgery.

The cortisone did alleviate the pain. But, the surgeon’s words “bone-on-bone” haunted me. Concerned that I might make the knee worse, I kept my leg stiff when going up and down stairs. If I had to kneel, I did so on my good knee. I modified my work-out routine, avoiding impact exercises or ones that required bending my knee, like running or bicycling. I was even afraid to cross my legs, fearful—and constantly aware—that I might do more harm if I overused or misused my bad knee.

Someone suggested I get another opinion before opting for surgery. The second doctor spent time hearing my story and answering my questions. He took a few more ex-rays and then sat down to explain his assessment. “You don’t have bone-on-bone,” he began. “You just have a little bone spur causing periodic pain.” I was stunned—and a little miffed at myself that I had almost rushed into an unnecessary surgery. He recommended a few weeks of physical therapy and prescribed medication for inflammation. When I told him how I had modified my exercise routine to avoid bending my knee, he responded, “You need to do bending exercises. That will strengthen your knee joint.”

I left his office feeling like a freed prisoner. My knee felt better almost immediately, now that the “bone-on-bone” concern was proven incorrect.

The first doctor’s diagnosis, while inaccurate, impacted the way I walked, thought, and behaved—even creating a phantom pain with a nagging fear that I had to live with limitations. The second doctor’s reassurance that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I believed freed me to walk, talk, and even think normally! What a difference the truth can make.

No wonder Jesus told His followers, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”  God is world-renowned for His truthful expertise. His opinion puts to rest any false reports we may believe. Maybe if we go to Him first, we’ll never need a second opinion because His Word is final.

  • What limiting “misdiagnosis” do you believe that is affecting how you live, walk, talk, and think? If you asked God for His opinion, what would He tell you?
  • How can you become more spiritually sensitive so the Lord’s opinion is the first one you seek?
[Previously published in Christian Coaching Magazine, 2018]