Articles Posted in Orthopedic Mistakes

Andrew Swanson had a history of various medical problems including diabetes, end-stage renal disease and gangrene. After undergoing a skin graft on his right foot, he was transferred to Regional Hospital for Respiratory and Complex Care.
He was in his mid-40’s and was treated with foot dressing to be changed daily and wrapped with non-elastic Kerlix dressing.

In spite of this procedure ordered by his treating physicians, a Regional Hospital nurse applied an elastic Ace bandage and left it in place for three days.
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William Glynn Jr., 66, suffered an injury to his cervical spine in a car accident. He had limited use of his extremities following that incident. He underwent cervical spinal surgery at North Fulton Hospital and was gaining strength and showing signs of improvement.

However, three days after that surgery, hospital nurses tried to move Glynn from a reclining chair to his bed. They placed Glynn in a sling attached to a Hoyer lift, but his legs slid downward toward the floor. The hospital nurses pushed the Hoyer lift back toward the chair, which caused Glynn to strike his head against that chair.

The next day, Glynn awoke with new symptoms; a CT scan revealed a fractured-dislocation at C7 to T1. In spite of surgery about 40 hours after this incident, Glynn now suffers from incomplete quadriplegia and requires 24-hour-per-day care.
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On June 26, 2014, Dr. Corey Solman performed arthroscopic surgery on the knee of Leslie Grussing. At her follow-up appointment on July 9, 2014, she met with a physician’s assistant and reported swelling in her knee. The physician’s assistant suggested physical therapy.

Dr. Solman did not examine her at that visit. Grussing returned to Dr. Solman’s office on July 18, 2014, again reporting pain and swelling in her knee.

Dr. Solman then removed fluid associated with the swelling from Grussing’s knee and observed that the synovial fluid looked normal. Dr. Solman did not test the fluid for infection.
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The New York State Appellate Court has ruled that an orthopedic resident was not liable to a patient injured during a knee replacement surgery.

In this case, Carol Blendowski underwent a knee replacement surgery that was performed by Dr. Michael Wiese and Dr. Marc O’Donnell, who was a third-year orthopedic resident.

During the surgery, Blendowski suffered an injury to her peroneal and tibial nerves. These nerve injuries were permanent.
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Virginia Moraites, a 77-year-old retiree, underwent a total left knee replacement at Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan, Ill., on Oct. 13, 2009. The inpatient procedure was done by the defendant orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Gerard Goshgarian. On the morning after the surgery, Oct. 14, 2009, a nurse found that Moraites was unable to move her left foot. The foot felt cold and there were no detectable pulses in her foot.

The hospital’s nurse immediately called both Moraites’ internist and Dr. Goshgarian to report these findings. The internist responded first and ordered a STAT left leg arterial Doppler study as well as a vascular surgery consultation.

Vascular surgeon Dr. David Onsager sent his physician’s assistant to examine Moraites and also ordered ultrasound testing of the blood flow in her feet. Dr. Goshgarian came to bedside to examine Moraites, but he did not issue any additional orders and left to perform surgery on a different patient.
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Elizabeth McNamara was 63 when she underwent a right hip replacement that was done by an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. David Weissberg. After the surgery, she developed right foot drop and was diagnosed as having an injured peroneal nerve.

McNamara continued to suffer the foot drop and numbness in her right leg — problems that caused her to fall and necessitated the use of a leg brace for walking and modifications to her car so that she was able to drive.

McNamara and her husband filed a lawsuit against Dr. Weissberg, maintaining that the nerve injury resulted from either his misplacement of a surgical retractor or application of excessive force on the right leg during the surgery.
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Holly Mozzone, 39, underwent a bursectomy and a repair to her labrum; surgery was performed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Gary Hunter. During the surgical procedure, Dr. Hunter placed a screw into her shoulder joint instead of on the limb of the joint.

As a result of this mistake, she developed mechanical and range-of-motion problems that necessitated 18 months of physical therapy. She was unable to continue working as a nursing assistant and now works as a flight attendant.

Mozzon filed a lawsuit against Dr. Hunter claiming liability for placing the screw during the operation in the shoulder joint instead of in the rim of the joint. That displacement of the surgical screw was the cause of her shoulder problems. The jury awarded $188,000 plus $150,000 in attorney fees.

Plaintiff Donald Brier brought a cause of action against a practice group and an orthopedic surgeon, Greater Hartford Orthopedic Group P.C., and David Kruger, MD, an orthopedic surgeon (collectively, Defendants), alleging medical malpractice arising out of a spinal surgery that went bad.

After the running of the applicable statute of limitations, Brier sought to amend his complaint. Both the original complaint and the amended version alleged that Dr. Kruger and his medical group chose not to plan and use an instrument that could have been utilized. The original complaint alleged the misuse of a skull clamp during the surgery.

Brier’s amended complaint included allegations of the improper use of a retractor blade. The trial court narrowly construed the original complaint as limited to a claim of the negligent usage of the skull clamp and denied Brier’s request to amend his complaint.
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In a confidential settlement, a 50-year-old woman underwent a microdiscectomy performed by a neurosurgeon. The patient’s blood pressure dropped after the procedure, and her condition then deteriorated.

A CT scan showed that the woman’s iliac artery was injured during the microdiscectomy. By the time the patient was transferred to another hospital for repair surgery, her medical status was severely compromised. Despite an emergency surgery to repair the artery, the patient died.

The patient was the owner of a small business earning about $25,000 per year. Her decedent now runs the business. She was survived by her husband and three adult children.

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Walter Hoover was 70 years old when he suffered a compression fracture in his back at L4. After the first rounds of treatment were found to be unsuccessful, he was transferred to a Veterans Administration Hospital where two neurosurgeons performed a corpectomy and diskectomy at L3-5 with placement of spinal instrumentation. This procedure was done to decompress the spine.

After the surgery, Hoover experienced paralysis in his left leg. Days later, he underwent additional surgeries to remove a misplaced surgical screw, reposition his surgically implanted hardware and to decompress his spinal cord.

Even after that series of surgeries, Hoover remained paralyzed and required multiple hospitalizations and treatments until he died several years later.

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