Malaysia Hospital Experience – Hip Break

Written by Nick on June 15, 2015

Several years years ago, when I was in my late 60’s, living and working in Malaysia, I had a devastating accidental fall from the top of an aluminum step-ladder. I was reaching for some items on a very high closet shelf when the ladder collapsed under me. I fell with full force on one side of my hip-bone.

I was in excruciating pain, unable to move even a fraction of an inch. I called out for help. My wife immediately commandeered an ambulance. They came promptly, scooped me up, and delivered me to emergency in a nearby hospital – all within about 20-30 minutes.

The physician on duty happened to be the top orthopedic surgeon in Malaysia. He had a scan made of my hip and he said, “I have bad news for you. Your hip is broken in five places and it will take 10 to 12 hours of surgery to make repairs. But before we take that step, we have to pull your leg out, as it has pushed through your hip and then we will take another x-ray.”

After the procedure, the doctor came to me again and said “I have some very surprising news for you. After we pulled your leg out, all five broken pieces returned back to their original position. You now have the option of either ‘hip-replacement surgery’ or ‘self-healing’ — with no surgery at all. The latter would require a hospital stay of 5 – 6 weeks, bed-ridden and in traction.

Upon checking with my physician in the USA I was shocked to hear that self-healing would not even be an option in America. He said surgery would be automatic. He said, “No hospital could accommodate you for the several weeks required.”

I chose self-healing, which proved highly successful. I had a private room with daily physio-therapy, continual nursing care, and frequent doctor visits. I ordered my meals from a daily menu. There was an adjacent private room in case my wife wished to stay over-night. The total cost for everything was approximately $12,000 (equivalent USD). This was followed by several weeks of rehab to allow the muscles to return to normal.

I healed so well, that I scaled Malaysia’s highest mountain peak of 14,000 feet (Mt. Kinabalu) within 12 months of the accident. I wanted to prove full recovery to myself.

This entire experience demonstrated to me the fallacy in the notion that the USA has the best there is to offer in medical care. It was a real eye opener, supported by other experiences I have had regarding the wonderful quality of medical care in Malaysia.