"Injury exacerbated while having an Xray at the Sunshine Coast Radiology."

About: Sunshine Coast Radiology

(as the patient),

I regularly see a physiotherapist for right side neck/shoulder problems related to several old injuries and radio therapy 20 years ago. Around Jan 2012 I was having neck pain and my wonderful private physio suggested I get an Xray of my neck so she could check for degeneration as I was over 60. With a referral from my GP I went to Sunshine Radiology in Nambour, Qld. The very young Xray technician did not seem friendly or chatty as technicians usually are. I tried to tell him a bit of the history of that shoulder and neck injury but he was not interested. He ordered me to stand here, stand there etc. The room was darkened and I couldn't see very well. At one stage he seemed annoyed that I couldn't stand in the position he wanted and he said, hold out your right hand which I did. Then he said hold this as he put a cloth handle over my hand - it turned out to be attached to a very heavy sand bag. My whole arm was suddenly wrenched. I was upset and told him my arm hurt. He said nothing. The following week when I took the Xrays to the physio I thought she gaped as I walked in the door and asked me what had happened. I told her and also that it was uncomfortable and I couldn't lift anything or do my wall push-up exercises. She said my right shoulder was 20cms lower than it had been the week before. She turned me around and through my clothing she could see a hole in the muscle above the scapular. She said I'd a torn the long thoracic nerve and had a 'winged' scapular. Back to the GP, who didn't examine me, but said I should be okay though it would take at least two years to heal. I phoned the Xray company headquarters - the manager was away on holidays so I talked to the Workplace Health and Safety officer who listened, said she knew which technician it was and that he was 'young' and would be spoken to. I reminded her that usually healthy people do not need Xrays so any patients they had were probably already injured and that people over 60, or even over 50, should be treated with respect for their physical age and this should be mentioned in training. She seemed to agree with me and said the manager would contact me when back from holidays. I've never heard from them again. I still have problems with that shoulder, I was forced to make changes in my work duties and the injury is still included in my on-going therapy ... at my expense. I have not been able to lie on that side since the injury and have trouble pushing with the right arm. I still use this Xray company as it is conveniently within walking distance of my doctor and the other people working there are very pleasant, thoughtful and friendly. But, I think the management could have shown some interest in my injury, at least follow up by phone. I'd like to warn other people to be careful and not assume that a technician of any sort will have an understanding of previous injuries or disabilities.

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