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Total Knee Replacement And Staph Infection

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

Total Knee Replacement And Staph Infection

Postby Cadda » Sat Dec 06, 2014 6:58 pm

   In January 2002 I shattered my knee.  Since then, I have had 22 surgeries and in 2 weeks number 23.  Approximately 2 years ago I had a total knee replacement.  Ever since, I have had several surgeries because of scar tissue and numerous other problems.      This past Dec. I ended up in the hospital with a HUGH absess along one of my incision sites.  It was staph.  It was opened and drained by surgery.  I was sent home with a home IV of Vancomyacin.  I went off of the Vanco, and another abcess erupts just below the first.  The Dr. lanced it in his office.  A few weeks later, another abcess.  This time, he opens it up and finds a glob of the cement that they use when they put in the knee.  He seemed to think that was the cause of the infection.  Well, a few weeks later, another abcess.  This time he opens it and finds that it is draining from the prosthesis, so we end up taking the knee out and putting in a antibiotic spacer.  This time they put in a sub-clavical triple luman in and send me home again on Vanco.  Six weeks into this I become very ill.  End up at my MD's office....  I have blood poisioning, which they attribute to the triple luman.  I was told that if I hadn't gone in when I did, in 24 hrs. I would have gone into septic shock.  It's been 3 weeks now, and I feel great and today scheduled my surgery to put a knee back in.  I'm scared to death to tell you the truth.  Everyone tells me that I should sue, but I'm not sure that I even have a case.
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Total Knee Replacement And Staph Infection

Postby Kajetan » Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:27 pm


It is hard to tell if this amounts to medical malpractice.  There is an axiom that "sometimes bad things happens to good people" and it holds true with regards to medicine.  Alot of people say sue but they do not have the benefit of understanding law or medicine.

The reality is that 90% of medical malpractice trials end in verdicts for the healthcare providers.  There are a few reasons.  The first is that good malpractice cases generally settle short of trial.  The second is that the AMA and our current president has done a masterful job of letting juries know that lawsuits drive up malpractice which in turn puts doctors out of business. This is not true but it sways the juries to believe in physicians over claimants.  Also, bad and/or marginal cases for claimants go to trial.

I suggest you speak to a medical malpractice attorney and/or get a second opinion from a different orthopedic surgeon who specializes in knees.  Once you develop these types of infections or osteomylitis, you are going to be prone to them for the rest of your life.  Also, developing staph infections are not in and of themselves malpractice as there are multiple infections indigenous to hospitals, including staph.

I wish I could paint a brighter picture.  I suggest you get a second opinion from another orthopod and also speak with an infectious disease physician to try and keep any infection at a minimal.  If you question whether malpractice was committed, I urge you to speak with a certified specialist in your area.  You can look up certified specialists with the National Board of Trial Advocacy at www.nbtanet.org.

I wish you the best.

Paul D. Friedman, M.A., Ph.D., J.D.
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:14 am

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