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Spinal Fusion Surgery

Been the victim of Medical Malpractice or fighting a malpractice suit? Discuss it here.

Spinal Fusion Surgery

Postby yehudi » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:06 am

Hi - I had my first posterior lumbar fusion surgery done in 2006(I belive) and less than 2 yrs. later experience horrible pain again.  I saw another Orthopaedist who did radiological testing and determined that my pain was from a broken screw an loose screw from the fusion surgery.  He decided to go inside and do an anterior lumbar fusion surgery - he couldn't remove the broken screw as it was lodged in tissues and nerves so he put in more hardware.  That was about a year ago and I am still in pain.  I went through a series of steroid lumbar injections with no relief.  Doctors said there is nothing else they can do for me and this is as good as I will get.  I a 5'8" and only weigh 112 lbs. I don't understand how I could have done anything to "wear out" or break the previous hardward! The first doctor said the hardware was titanium - the 2nd doctor who performed my surgery said it was NOT titanium. Is this defective hardware from the manufacturer? I now am very limited in my mobility and have to use a permanent disable parking placard.  Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Sincerely,

Michele Wheeler

ANSWER: Michele: Very sorry that you are having such a difficult problem.  It is unlikely that you will have a viable medical malpractice case primarily because of the Statute of Limitations which would have begun to run sometime in 2008 when the pain returned and you learned about the broken screw.  You can check the Statute in your State by googling [name of your State] Statute of limitations medical malpractice.  Also, on the merits it is unlikely that it would be found that the surgeon used the wrong hardware or that he installed in improperly.  Don't know for sure unless and until another ortho surgeon says so but since you have the Statute problem, doubtful that any lawyer would want to invest in the project by hiring an expert to review the case.  I am not aware of any spinal fusion hardware suits going on regarding broken screws but I can say this:  I would strongly recommend that you order your medical records from the original surgery and in those records you will find the name, brand, lot and serial numbers of the hardware used.  When you find that out, then google [name of manufacturer or brand name of screw] lawsuit.  In other words, google ACME SURGICAL SCREW ATTORNEY/LAWSUIT or something similar.  If nothing comes up, I think you are at a dead end.  One case cannot stand on its own because such litigation costs millions(well, tens of thousands) for the experts and the scientists and the doctors to make a case that there was something defective with the device.  There have been defective surgical screw cases in the past and you should immediately find out what brand and type of screw you had and research it.  Good luck.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Thank you and I completely understand your reply!  I am curious though - since I had my surgery in FL and now reside in SC, which state would I check for statue of limitations?  Thank you so much for your help with my matter and your understanding!
yehudi
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:14 pm

Spinal Fusion Surgery

Postby Mufidy » Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:23 am

Hi - I had my first posterior lumbar fusion surgery done in 2006(I belive) and less than 2 yrs. later experience horrible pain again.  I saw another Orthopaedist who did radiological testing and determined that my pain was from a broken screw an loose screw from the fusion surgery.  He decided to go inside and do an anterior lumbar fusion surgery - he couldn't remove the broken screw as it was lodged in tissues and nerves so he put in more hardware.  That was about a year ago and I am still in pain.  I went through a series of steroid lumbar injections with no relief.  Doctors said there is nothing else they can do for me and this is as good as I will get.  I a 5'8" and only weigh 112 lbs. I don't understand how I could have done anything to "wear out" or break the previous hardward! The first doctor said the hardware was titanium - the 2nd doctor who performed my surgery said it was NOT titanium. Is this defective hardware from the manufacturer? I now am very limited in my mobility and have to use a permanent disable parking placard.  Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Sincerely,

Michele Wheeler

ANSWER: Michele: Very sorry that you are having such a difficult problem.  It is unlikely that you will have a viable medical malpractice case primarily because of the Statute of Limitations which would have begun to run sometime in 2008 when the pain returned and you learned about the broken screw.  You can check the Statute in your State by googling [name of your State] Statute of limitations medical malpractice.  Also, on the merits it is unlikely that it would be found that the surgeon used the wrong hardware or that he installed in improperly.  Don't know for sure unless and until another ortho surgeon says so but since you have the Statute problem, doubtful that any lawyer would want to invest in the project by hiring an expert to review the case.  I am not aware of any spinal fusion hardware suits going on regarding broken screws but I can say this:  I would strongly recommend that you order your medical records from the original surgery and in those records you will find the name, brand, lot and serial numbers of the hardware used.  When you find that out, then google [name of manufacturer or brand name of screw] lawsuit.  In other words, google ACME SURGICAL SCREW ATTORNEY/LAWSUIT or something similar.  If nothing comes up, I think you are at a dead end.  One case cannot stand on its own because such litigation costs millions(well, tens of thousands) for the experts and the scientists and the doctors to make a case that there was something defective with the device.  There have been defective surgical screw cases in the past and you should immediately find out what brand and type of screw you had and research it.  Good luck.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Thank you and I completely understand your reply!  I am curious though - since I had my surgery in FL and now reside in SC, which state would I check for statue of limitations?  Thank you so much for your help with my matter and your understanding!
Mufidy
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 2:49 am

Spinal Fusion Surgery

Postby blaeey » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:59 pm

Of course Florida law would apply since that is where the doctor is licensed and did the surgery. I looked it up.  The time limitation in FL is 2 years from the time of the negligence(surgery) or 2 years from when you knew or should have investigated whether you were a victim of med mal but under no circumstances more than 4 years from date of surgery. So even by that analysis, the time would have run out in 2010.  Find out what brand of surgical screw was used. Let me know what it is and I will research it for you just to satisfy my own curiosity. You can contact me directly at [email protected]

P.S.  Read the FL statute yourself.  There is an exception to the time limit if "fraud" was involved.  In other words, if the surgeon intentionally lied to you about the type of screw and this prevented you from having any idea that malpractice was committed, the time period then extends to 7 years. P.S.S.  Get the subsequent records as well.  The Operative Report of the second surgery will answer lots of questions.
blaeey
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:07 pm


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