Thanks to those people that offered sound advice today. I will be following up some of the leads, and hope it will be positive. My original post was not intended to criticise the actual knowledge of consultants, but just to highlight the inappropriate methods of examination. Playing “Simple Simon Says” with “do this” and “do that”, is not an appropriate method of assessment, and will produce misleading results. I am sure I am not alone on this point. RSI in any form cannot be treated like a fracture, and be observed, x-rayed and plastered all inside an hour.
Comment 1: You need to find a good solicitor who has handled these cases before and he will direct you to a consultant who is experienced in producing medical reports in RSI or WRULD, what have you. You need to see an ergonomist too and there are several good ones around. You have highlighted the problem and if you read the paper by Yassin and others in the Lancet of last year you will see that there is no method of diagnosing RSI except by eliminating everything else.
Comment 2: Unfortunately, consultants aren’t immune to the general controversy that surrounds the whole subject. I expect most will have views about RSI; it would be strange if they didn’t. They may also be unenthusiastic about the prospect of appearing in the headlines. (“Judge dismisses medical evidence and says that RSI does not exist.”) It’s unfortunately and unfairly very easy for a judge with no medical knowledge to damage the credibility of a doctor with many years of experience and training.
A few years ago, it seemed that solicitors in RSI cases had a choice: they could either call on someone who had experience with RSI and who was willing to give an opinion — in which case the court was all too likely to devalue the consultant’s opinion on the grounds that he had appeared in previous RSI cases and must be “soft” on the subject; or they could send their client to a consultant who had a reputation for being “tough” on RSI – in which case the likely outcome would be that the consultant would simply say that the client did not have RSI. Catch-22. I do think that things have improved a lot since then. But I think it’s still not so easy to find the right specialist. It’s encouraging that a couple of names have been mentioned, and I also thought Doug’s suggestion about the Pain Clinic was very good. I’d go for that one, myself, as everyone I know of who’s been to St Thomas’s seems to have been helped a great deal.
Comment 3: I agree that it is imperative to find a good lawyer. It may be helpful if you contact the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL, Tel.: 0115 9580585). They would send you leaflets- The Law Society-Personal Injury, conditional fees explained The Accident Line – Your route to compensation and a list of the Association members in your county. You may wish to speak to several of them by telephone before making your choice. Hope you find this helpful.
Comment 4: Judge Prosser did not say that RSI did not exist. He merely quoted Mr Cambell Semple the Medical Expert who had denied the existence of RSI. Medical experts are there to advise the court and should present their reports in the light of their own experience and their knowledge of the literature available at that time. An expert should not take sides and he is purely independent. Fortunately there is a lot of literature around now which supports the existence of WRULD. That is why a lot of cases have been settled recently.
My own view is that it does exist but speaking to several sufferers and indeed reading your postings suggests that in a number of cases there is a considerable psychological overlay. I feel that it is important to have treatment which is geared towards managing and putting up with the symptoms before embarking on therapy which is aimed towards a cure. I wonder if there is anyone who has been cured. I can accept that a lot of sufferers continue working as a result of necessity, albeit still suffering severe symptoms.
Comment 5: Can I ask from what background you speak?