Orthopedic Surgery and Neurosurgery Malpractice Lawyers
Each year, some 200,000 patients undergo back surgery to relieve chronic pain in New Jersey and across the nation. Orthopedic specialists and neurosurgeons promise patients decreased pain, improved mobility, and a better quality of life after surgery, but that is not always the outcome. All surgeries involve some risk; however, back and spine surgeries are more likely to cause catastrophic injuries, including spinal cord trauma, nerve damage, loss of function, and paralysis. Orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery malpractice from back surgery and other treatments are a leading cause of complications. Nursing malpractice or errors at the hospital or surgical center might also be to blame.
Types of Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Procedures
A diskectomy or microdiskectomy is a common procedure where a bulging, herniated, or ruptured disk is trimmed or removed. The majority of patients who undergo this surgery are between age thirty and thirty-nine.
A laminectomy is an orthopedic surgery where part of the bone is removed to facilitate a diskectomy or expand a nerve channel that’s narrowed due to spinal stenosis. Laminectomies are sometimes performed during spinal fusion.
Spinal fusion stabilizes the spine by joining two or more vertebrae with a series of anchored rods. If not performed correctly, poorly anchored rods can further damage the spinal column.
Vertebrae that have been damaged due to trauma or degeneration can be repaired by injecting acrylic cement into the bone. This procedure is known as vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty depending on how it is performed. In some cases, an artificial disk might be implanted instead.
Even minimally invasive back surgeries can have complications if too much tissue or bone is removed, if not enough is removed, if the nerve is damaged or if an infection or blood clot develops. Some back surgeries require an anterior entry through the abdomen, which involves a second surgeon and more risks.
Malpractice by Neurosurgeons and Orthopedic Specialists
Of all medical specialists, neurosurgeons have the highest rate of malpractice cases. Orthopedic surgeons come in fourth. Since the early 1990s, neurosurgeons have performed an increasing number of spine surgeries, and lawsuits have risen accordingly. Today, they earn roughly sixty percent of their income performing spine surgeries. Legal studies indicate that orthopedic surgeons have one-tenth the malpractice rate compared to neurosurgeons that perform similar operations. These are a few causes of malpractice-related injury:
- Surgical error.
- Delayed treatment.
- Improper treatment.
- Improper patient selection.
- Improper aftercare.
- Nursing malpractice.
- Infections and blood clots.
- Complications caused by pain pumps.
Paralysis due to delayed surgery is a common cause of malpractice claims. Spinal injuries, lesions, and bleeding can quickly cause paraplegia, quadriplegia, or hemiplegia (paralysis on one side of the body) if undiagnosed or untreated. Similar conditions occur due to poor pre- and post-operative care, including anesthesia malpractice and nursing malpractice. Failing to monitor blood pressure, bleeding, and bruising can all cause paralysis. Complications related to back surgeries include these conditions:
- Chronic pain.
- Nerve damage.
- Muscle weakness.
- Sexual dysfunction.
- Partial or complete paralysis.
- Loss of bladder or bowel functions.
- Conditions that require revision surgery.
Medical malpractice cases involving spinal cord injuries are highly complex. At the New Jersey medical malpractice law firm of Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman, we have extensive experience in litigating orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery malpractice lawsuits. Our team of New Jersey certified civil trial attorneys and expert witnesses will establish where the mistake was made and we will pursue all damages to compensate you for paralysis or any other injuries resulting from the orthopedic surgery or neurosurgery malpractice. We have been named to the Best New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorneys list by the Best Lawyers in America and we have a proven track record of winning multi-million dollar settlements for our clients, such as the $33.9 million settlement on behalf of a paralyzed New Jersey man, and $135 million jury verdict on behalf of a paralyzed New Jersey girl.
New Jersey Orthopedic Surgery and Neurosurgery Malpractice Lawsuits
If you or a loved one were injured during a back surgery — or from a delayed back surgery — contact the New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman. One of our orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery malpractice lawyers will respond as soon as possible to discuss your medical malpractice case.