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Abstracts and Articles Discuss Legal Consequence to Failed Neck Surgery/ Industrial. in the Main forums forums; I had "Experimental Cervical Laminoplasty Surgery". "C5-6, C4-5, C3-4" Disc Herniations, Stenosis and ...

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Old 06-29-2011, 09:26 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
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Angry Legal Consequence to Failed Neck Surgery/ Industrial.

I had "Experimental Cervical Laminoplasty Surgery". "C5-6, C4-5, C3-4" Disc Herniations, Stenosis and Kyphosis and Spur's!!! Did not "Cure or Releave", not any of My both hands, Arms, Shoulders, Both Wrists, and Severe Neck Pain and Rotation!!! They Told Me that I had to Leave out of Hospital after "3-4" Days, still in the Same Excruciation Pain that I Came in There with. The Neurosurgeon gave Me a Copy of the "Surgery Report and told Me to Have No More Neck Surgeries and File for Social Security Disability. He Co-ersed this New Experimental Surgery on Me that He did not have any Picture's, Brochure's, and not Anything on His Website about he perform "Laminoplasty Surgery". He told Me that it would be a "Cut and a Hinge". I awoke next Morning to a "12" Ugly Cut from the Base of my Neck to Middle Back!!! Now the Prostigious Teaching Hospital, neither the NeuroSurgeon will Talk or Help Me "Post Opt". The Screws or Pointing and Pressing Directly against My "Spinal Cord". I can not Sleep for up to "3 to 5 Days", for awhile now. I have fallen Down Backward asleep Flat on my Back and has Re-Injured My Neck Even Worsre. My PTP will not order another "MRI"!!! Both hands, Arms, Shoulders, Both Wrists and Neck Severely Pain. Even Legs and Ankles going Numb and Tingly. Now the Lunesta want Work Anymore!!!!!! Now My Attorney is trying to Settle My Case Unethnically. Who Can I Talk To??????????????????????

Last edited by Allen123; 06-29-2011 at 09:33 AM. Reason: space's needed
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:24 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default re failed surgery

Sadly if you signed the consent form you were likely convinced rather than coerced into signing re surgeon talking about how the surgery would help and then it didn't and in fact made it worse. The same thing happened to me w/a lumbar spine surgery however I did go into it willingly as I surely signed the consent form for surgery. It failed, flopped and made me far worse than I was before surgery. Like you I pondered suing however truth be told it's very difficult to prove that something was done wrong in spine surgery unless very obvious like leaving 2x2 in there that later got infected or severing something... and re WC (industrial injury) you cannot bring suit against WC at least not in CA.

The fact that your surgeon gave you the surgical report is pretty much showing that he has nothing to hide. Maybe it was not the best surgery for your situation however if you signed a surgical consent you did agree to it. If the screws are in a questionable or dangerous position it would seem that "possibly" someone would consider doing something about that however probably not if you're talking lawsuit re your last surgeon. Threatening a suit will not help you to get other practitioners of healthcare to want to work with you.

What I found to be most helpful after my failed spine surgery was to try to deal with how to get better not wasting energy on wanting to sue the surgeon since it couldn't be done even tho in my mind I went that route initially as well *unless again you have obvious findings re negligence/malpractice etc*

I think you mentioned Pain Management? That sounds like a good move even if you think it's not helping you, stick w/it. Again if you are seeing another doctor/surgeon do not trash your surgeon verbally and state you're trying to sue this person as this does nothing to make any other physician or healthcare provider want to work with you in fact it does the opposite (I worked in healthcare my entire career).

Spine surgery fails often enough. There are no guarentees. We have to be the ones to contemplate seriously any surgical option and get 2nd and 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th (like me) opinions before endeavoring to pursue a spine surgery (the 6 opinions were after my failed 2nd spine surgery when thinking about a 3rd spine surgery which I didn't do even tho all surgeons were in agreement re surgery/type). Another thing is "experimental" spine surgery indicates that it's in an experimental phase so again you had to consider that. Did Worker's Compensation pay for the "experimental" surgery? When I was first considering ADR it was in the trial phase and it was made abundantly clear to me with paperwork what the word trial implied. WC orginally auth'd for me then pulled that authorization for 2 years. WC doesn't usually like to authorize experimental surgery and does not do that lightly so I'm wondering how long you may have been in pursuit of this surgical option or was it a departure from another approved surgery recommended/authorized (then WC probably wouldn't pay for it and stick you with the bill)..

I'm very sorry to read how badly your surgery has turned out however I encourage you to focus your efforts on how you're going to deal with the pain and limitations.

And yes, eventually I filed for permanent disability after my 2nd spine surgery even tho a big part of my reason for getting it of course was to extend my working career not cut it short. Stuff happens unfortunately.

Last edited by Maria; 06-29-2011 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:21 PM
mmglobal's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,511

Wow... what a nightmare. I can't help you with the legal issues, but hopefully, you'll have some options improving your medical situation.

When was the surgery?

1997 MVA
2000 L4-5 Microdiscectomy/laminotomy
2001 L5-S1 Micro-d/lami
2002 L4-S1 Charite' ADR - SUCCESS!
2009 C3-C4, C5-C6-C7, T1-T2 ProDisc-C Nova
Summer 2009, more bad thoracic discs!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:58 PM
dshobbies's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,596

My blood boils when I read stories like yours. Without knowing your specifics on where you live, insurance and financial situation, it's difficult to make recommendations but here goes;

Do not mention any lawsuit when talking to any other doctor but by all means, seek out another or more opinion about the screws touching your spinal column. Soimething can be done about this and should be as soon as possible. Your new doctor will order an MRI.

Also, talk to another lawyer. If you believe your current one is unethical, you don't have to stay with him. Hopefully, you can at least get future sugeries and medical costs taken care of if this doctor told you one thing and did another, regardless of signing the consent form. Your lawyer is the best one to give you advise but out of all my surgeries, most consent forms were presented to me in the hospital and some even after mild sedation. That can be construed as a type of duress but I am not a lawyer.

Until you've tried all avenues of relief, this pain does not have to be permanant. Good luck,

3 level Prodisc adr S1-L3, Oct 12, 2005
Dr. B in Bogen, Germany
Severe nerve damage in left leg, still working on it
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:04 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sierra Madre, California
Posts: 904

I don't think i can help in any way, but can commiserate. I had a spine surgery that worked in stopping my pain, but with the price of a damaged nerve. Permanent damage to a nerve that controls the diaphragm muscle to contol breathing. I am left with only a 50% lung capacity. Oh yes, I have thought of a law suit as this is permanent damage. But it was an accident . My real law suit thoughts are for neglect. this surgeon had nothing to do with me in the hospital and after said nothing happened. When i clearly was put on a respirator after the surgery. But he was long gone.

In your case, if i were you, i would forget the law suit , as Dale said , you signed the consent to experimental surgery. I would focus on pain management first , then getting opinions from every surgeon i could find to try to help you.

2007 ACDF 4-7
2008 hip , knee scope, hip replacement
2009 thoracic T-5 thru T-11fusion
2009 VATS T7-8, posterior only T11-12. removal of thoracic hard wear
2010 lung surgery
2010 T2-L2 kyphosis correction
2010 Kyphoplasty T-3, T-4
2011 Cervical osteotomy ,revision C4-T5
2011 Foot surgery
2011 Revision fusion T7 thru L4/laminectomy
2012 Hammertoe correction left foot
2012 Revision fusion T-12 thru L5
2012 Revision fusion L4-L5
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:46 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default re signing consent forms

Long ago (anybody remember this) we had to meet with the anesthesiologist about a week in advance surgery to sign consent for anesthesia and with the surgeon we had to sign the consent for surgery after actually having the benefits and the potential risks involved explained. When I was a young nurse we had to accompany the doctor explaining this so as to sign as a witness that he or she actually did explain the surgery (this may have been a particular hospital policy).

I have seen that go by the wayside in the last 20 years as like Dale many of my consents were signed "on the fly" pretty much and my last spine surgery consent while on the gurney going into the outpatient surgical suite .. although before any sedating types of drugs.

As long as you are sound of mind when the consent is signed and not under any anesthesia I doubt you can claim duress however as mentioned if one surgery was proposed and an entirely different one performed that could be something to check out. WC usually authorizes a very specific surgery and does not allow room for more to be performed.

When I had my 2nd knee surgery using my regular medical insurance I went in for a small arthroscopic surgery supposedly to drain an effusion on my kneecap area and came out with a patella tendon release and cast from foot to groin. I was so upset about it as I was supposed to be going to Europe 2 months from that date.

Turns out I didn't get to go because my recovery took so long but what I learned was there was a clause in my surgical consent that gave the surgeon permission to explore and do what he had to do (basically and paraphrasing greatly)... so he did something he told me I needed on the other leg too because my tracking was off and that by the time I was 50 I'd be thanking him!!! I was sooooo mad as I was only 30 at the time and that screwed up my travel plans, vacation and my back as well with that big cast on (hobbling around, crutches, limping etc and only one year after 1st spine surgery).

So my advice is to always read your consent form well before signing it as well as other things already mentioned such as not talking lawsuit to anyone at all when thinking about it (no leaks and won't turn other docs away) and yes by all means seek other opinions re the screw situation as well as check out another attorney if you're so inclined (tho if WC questionable whether you can sue at all).

Last edited by Maria; 06-30-2011 at 12:50 PM.
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