Orthopedic medicine is the specialty that addresses disease or injury to bones and joints. Issues in orthopedic medicine include failure to diagnose fractures, improper treatment of fractures, and problems during joint replacement. However there are also other aspects to orthopedic care that can result in serious injury to an individual.
Orthopedic surgery, and the repairing of broken bones, can be a difficult undertaking. Doctors from different schools of thought utilize completely different methods to treat similar fractures. Some of these fractures require surgery using plates, screws, pins, or rods while others only need a cast. Orthopedic operations open up a patient to the additional risks of surgery; i.e., all the risks of negligence during an operative procedure come into play, including anesthesia errors, nursing errors and surgical mistakes on the part of the surgeon or the surgical staff.
When someone breaks a bone and the doctor diagnoses the fracture improperly or treats the injury negligently, the healed bone may not be properly aligned. This can cause bone deformities, which could lead to further issues. According to the journal The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the most common type of complaint that is filed against Orthopedic Surgeons is negligence in treatment of femur (leg) fractures.
Negligence in bone fracture surgical treatment means the following errors may have occurred:
- Misdiagnosing an x-ray
- Misalignment of the bones and fragments
- Failure to fit the patient with appropriate plates and screws, including size and type, to stabilize the fracture
- Not positioning plates and screws correctly
- Failure to take sufficient x-rays after the completion of bone repair in order to assess whether the bones are healing as expected
- Not addressing patient complaints regarding pain, inflammation, and odd temperatures during the healing process
A bone fracture treated negligently usually requires additional correctional surgery, which may have reduced odds of success. Additionally, patients who have fractures are at an increased risk of developing a potentially deadly complication known as pulmonary embolism. This major complication occurs when a blood clot develops and blocks blood flow between the heart and the lungs. There are medications and precautions that can prevent this occurrence and orthopedic surgeons are trained to utilize the appropriate interventions in order to avoid a pulmonary embolism.
If you or a loved one has suffered negligence in orthopedic surgery, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the damages Call the Sweeney Law Firm and let our experts review the facts to see if you have a medical malpractice case. If we decide to accept your case, we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning there is no fee for representation unless there is a settlement or fund recovery made on your behalf.