In the medical malpractice arena, spinal cord injuries are most commonly caused by poor surgical technique, unnecessary surgery, improper postoperative care, or misinterpretation of MRI scans. The results of negligent spinal cord surgical injuries are often catastrophic. Over the last five years, Miller & Wagner, LLP has successfully prosecuted more than thirty medical malpractice cases involving severe spinal cord injury.
A frequent cause of such injuries is unnecessary surgery underwritten by the workers’ compensation system for traumatic back injuries suffered on the job. Neurological damage can follow surgical errors, anesthesia errors, or even errors relating to the positioning of a patient by members of the operating team.
If you or a family member are seeking advice about your legal rights in the aftermath of a medical error resulting in a severe spinal cord injury, contact an attorney at the Portland medical malpractice law firm of Miller & Wagner for a free initial consultation. We advise and represent people in Oregon and Southwest Washington regarding medical malpractice claims, including those involving spinal cord damage.
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Neurosurgery Spine Injuries as a Result of Medical Negligence
A vast majority of spinal cord injuries resulting from medical negligence are the result of inappropriate diagnosis and procedural care during neurosurgery. Neurosurgeons are responsible for the proper treatment of and care of their patients. This includes diagnostic testing, radiology, preoperative care, and medication administration as well as the actual surgical procedure. A medical mistake during any part of the neurosurgical process—from diagnosis to postsurgical care—may result in serious damage to a patient’s brain or spinal nerves.
Spinal Surgery Injuries as a Result of Medical Negligence
Spinal fusion surgery is recommended by some surgeons for the treatment of fractures, curvatures, and other back problems. A significant number of failed spinal surgeries result from failed spinal fusion, especially when three or more vertebrae are fused together. Other spinal surgery errors that may result in significant patient injury include operating on the wrong part of the back, damaging pressure on a spinal nerve, or insertion of loose or broken pedicle screws. Physical damages resulting from spinal surgery negligence are often referred to as FBSS (failed back surgery syndrome). These damages may include recurrent disk herniation, chronic pain, numbness, scar tissue, or paralysis.
Paralysis as a Result Spinal Surgery Negligence
One of the most devastating results of spinal surgery errors is full or partial paralysis. Although a serious accident outside the hospital can sometimes cause paralysis, a portion of paralysis cases are caused by the treatment patients receive when they are under medical care. Paralyzing spinal cord injuries resulting from medical negligence may include failure to diagnose a fractured vertebra, spine damage from operating on adjoining tissues, or a medical professional’s failure to keep the spine immobile after a traumatic injury.
Choosing the the Right Surgeon is Vital
Spinal fusion surgeries are a somewhat controversial operation and this makes it even more important to properly vet and choose your surgeon. While some orthopedic surgeons view them as effective procedures, others believe they are performed too often on patients who are not helped by the surgery. Spinal fusion surgery is also expensive which may lead to some neurosurgeons encouraging patients to undergo unnecessary procedures.
Informed consent is often an issue in medical malpractice claims involving spinal cord injuries. A spinal surgery lawsuit may investigate whether the patient was fully advised of the risks inherent to the procedure as well as alternative conservative treatment options. A postsurgical injury claim may also take known potential complications into question as well as what steps, if any, the doctor or hospital took to avoid these complications.
Spinal Cord Injury Medical Malpractice Lawyers Serving Oregon & Washington
With more than 65 years of combined malpractice litigation experience, Dave Miller and Bob Wagner know how to identify the signs of surgical negligence and make a compelling presentation of the evidence that proves it.
We represent medical malpractice clients throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington including Portland, Vancouver, Salem, and Bend. For your convenience, we have a satellite office in Pacific City. If you or a loved one were injured as a result of a failed spinal surgery, contact an experienced medical negligence attorney at Miller & Wagner today.