In 2008 I had a spinal fusion L3-L4 and a disc replacement L5-S1. In 2014 the disc began to move during this time and up until January 2016 I was continuously receiving epidural injections. By May of 2016 I visited another spinal surgeon x-rays showed the artificial disc had collapsed pushing on my spine creating a scoliosis. I had major surgery sept 2016 to fix it. I want to know if I can hold the original surgeon liable for experimenting and putting an artificial disc at a level most doctors say it should not have been placed. I also want to know if I have a case against the pain management doctor who did epidurals on me frequently between 2014 and 2016 and had to notice the changes in my spine through the fluoroscope but did not tell anyone, me or my primary physician. I first noticed the problem when i noticed a copy of the fluoroscope on top of my chart and I asked the nurse for a copy.
The statute of limitations for a surgery done in 2008 has lapsed long ago. Unlikely that there is a malpractice claim against the pain management physician as well but you can always ask local malpractice counsel to find an expert to review the records and imaging studies for several thousand dollars. Normal complications of spinal fusion surgery, including non-fusion can occur without negligence.
Unfortunately, a potential claim may be barred by the statute of limitations and artificial discs are indeed experimental, hence, the informed consent that you signed prior to undergoing the surgery likely covered the complication cited in your recitation. Best of luck.
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You obviously had a bad outcome. Not all bad outcomes are the result of negligence. Sometimes when a doctor does everything right the patient does not get better. Sometimes the patient gets worse and sometimes an entirely new complication develops. Your case has the added issue of some experimental?? device--though I assume there was an informed consent signed. There is really only one way to find out if you were the victim of negligence as opposed to a bad outcome that is not the basis of a negligence claim. Malpractice is care and treatment that falls below the standard of care and causes injury. The standard of care is basically the level at which the average, prudent provider in a given community would practice. It is how similarly qualified practitioners would have managed the patient's care under the same or similar circumstances. Injury typically must be severe or permanent in order for the claim to be economically feasible to pursue even if there is malpractice. These cases are very expensive and risky to pursue. Unless it appears there would be a meaningful economic recovery to the patient the cases are cost prohibitive to pursue. In order to find out if you were the victim of negligence, you need to retain a lawyer willing to investigate the claim. The lawyer will gather your medical records and have them reviewed by a medical expert who will be asked to offer an opinion as to whether 1. the care and treatment you received fell below the applicable standard of care and 2. caused an injury. There is no claim to pursue unless and until such an opinion is secured. Also, all cases must be filed with the court within a certain time. The time to file a claim vary from state to state. The time in your case "may" have passed. If you feel strongly about this potential claim you have no time to spare. You need to meet with an attorney immediately to learn how to preserve your legal rights
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Important details: when did you discover the surgery resulted in an injury? What is your age and how limiting the injury is? What is the prognosis?
The surgeon does not guarantee results. Whether this surgery was below the standard of care has to be assessed and evaluated. Ask your current surgeon what his/her opinion is regarding the first surgery. Get medical records, make an appointment with a med malpractice attorney.
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