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Do I have a right to sue because postop complications have impaired my ability to work and earn a living?

Brooklyn, NY |

I had a bulged disc in L4-5 vertebrae Nov 2011 while going to work on a project (I am an actor.) I did not report it to my union then, as I did not want to create an incident filing for damages against the employer of record, and suffer any kind of consequences (not getting picked for future jobs, etc.).

I had intense sciatica pain – tried steroid injection into spine Mar 2012 and PT. Still pain and tingling down right leg. Decided to have discectomy Feb 2013. Intense tingling in right leg after surgery. Right leg “dead” from the knee down. Had another surgery 2 days later so neurosurgeon could check his work. He found bone shards on nerve.

A month afterwards, in which I was not able to work and could hardly walk, I still have severe foot drop and just found out I have a condition called peroneal nerve palsy that originates in my right knee – not my lower back – which is healing correctly.

The neurologist said the condition was due to my leg’s positioning at some point – like when a leg ‘falls asleep’ when one sits etc in the same position for too long - probably during surgery since I had the symptoms right after the first surgery.

Now I am losing money because I can’t do as many jobs (that call for a lot of walking, running, etc) and what’s worse, as my medical insurance is based on my earnings, I will likely not have any insurance after this year.

And the neurologist could not tell me IF I could recover completely nor how long it would take. I might never have my previous earning potential again and at this rate I will burn through my savings and not be able to pay my bills very soon.

I think the hospital should have taken steps against this happening. Is there any recourse? This situation has really put me behind the 8 ball.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Have a local medical malpractice lawyer order your records and send them to an expert to review. I'm not sure why you didn't retain workers compensation lawyer if this was a work-related injury.

  2. Medical Malpractice - L4-5 Surgical Discectomy - Post-Surgical Peroneal Nerve Damage and Foot Drop - By Patrick Amoresano: Permanent peroneal nerve damage and foot drop does not typically occur after an L4-5 surgical discectomy in the absence of negligence, and you should not accept your neurogist's suppositions about the cause of your condition without seeking additional opinions from medical experts outside your surgeon's sphere of friends and colleagues. It's possible your nerve was damaged due to negligence during or after the surgery. You should consult with an experienced Medical Malpractice attorney about the process of obtaining your medical records and films for objective review by an unbiased expert. Where is your surgeon's office and where was the surgery done? Also, what type of leg bracing did you have during and after the surgery? Improper bracing is sometimes the cause of peroneal nerve damage.

  3. I share the same question about work comp. however, you should bring your records to a medical malpractice attorney to see if you have a case.

  4. Absolutely the drop foot was caused by positioning during the spine surgery and was caused by the surgeon or anesthesiologist The per oral nerve is the sciatic nerve and behind your knee it can become compressed and impinged causing a neuropathy and perineal nerve palsy also know as a drop foot.

  5. I had a duplicate case and your damage is most likely surgically related and outside the bounds of good and competent medical practice. You will possibly be undergoing pain management therapy. You should immediately obtain a review with a med mal atty and do it soon.

    If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.

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