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I need your opinions on the doctors screw up

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
This is going to be a short version, I had surgery 9/05 and when they sere removing the stiches a main bolt broke and I went flying backwards off the sugical table, with over 300 stictched inside of my upper body. After that I had pain in my lower back and it jsut got worse with sciatica going down my right leg into my toes. I went for another MRI about 1 month ago and it shoed a black disc, but then they performed a disc o gram (OMG OWRST OAIN IN MY LIFE) and it show L4 and L5b blackened, ( soory for all typos, I had surger 2 days ago). Amyway whe I decided to try and have that doctor help me I recevived a letter from his ins stating staute of limitations was up, why can't I due for faulty part, beings it was the main bolt that held the surgical chair toghether??? Now after surgery 2 days ago for a discectiomy on the L4 and L5 , the doctor came in and apologized that he went into the wroing level of teh spine, he went into the L1 and L2 and realized he was in the wrong section of the spine, so my incision had to be cut open again, probably triple what it should have beena bd the pain level is 10 plus 24/7. In recovery it took them forever to get mr beathing because of the pain I was in. I never sued from my head on collison, or from the doctors whos surgicak chair bronke and ruined my surgery, I still have major pain from that and it wa 4 years aso. I nned your ioinion on what to do , because I have never sued a doctor I end up paying out of pocket for all of the stuff taht happens and live with the pain, now they have me on morphinwm percocet, valium, soma. norco, because if my pain. Do you all think the Doctor wa wrong cutting into the L1 and then L2 when the surgery was for the L4 and L5, I just do not want to have to end up worse in the long run and having to pay out of pocjet again like I have had to for the past 3 years, I do not like to sue, but like I told the doctor whose surgical chair broke because of a faluty boly and ripped all of ,y stitches from that surgery, I am affraid if I do not seek leagal advice that in the long run I will be in the hole payong for everything myself and U=I am alrady loosing my home because I miss so much wotj doe to al of this stuff/ I just want some other opinions! THANK YOU SO MUCH!


  • Welcome. That's terrible you had to go through that. Did you get a lawyer to help you yet? Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Before any surgical procedure they are suppose to have a "time-out" where the OR staff confirm what part they are operating on. For spine surgery they usually use some sort of xray machine, such as a C-arm or O-arm to confirm the levels they will be working on. It is crazy that this can happen in this day and age when there are so many safety precautions built in to the system to prevent it. Did he actually perform a laminectomy at the wrong level, or just opened the skin? Or muscle? My surgery was at L4-5 and they opened me up from L1 to S2, just cause that is the way he does it. I was surprised afterward for such a long incision and I wonder if in part in is to make sure they can see everything to confirm the right level, although he did use the O-arm to confirm the level as well. By all means it is your right to seek legal council. I would think it just depends on how you feel about it, how you feel about your surgeon in general. I mean people aren't perfect, mistakes can happen, but is this an isolated occurence? Is it going to cause you other problems in the future? Good-luck on your decision. I hope your pain gets better soon. Did you have a fusion as well (since you mentioned black-disc)? Take care, Cali-Sue
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  • Hi there,
    You should get your medical and surgical reports from the hospital, and then contact a medical malpractice attorney for a consultation. Keep in mind, the statute of limitations is one year from the date of that surgery when you were injured..
    Good luck, hope you get through it OK..

    Nine spinal surgeries, spondylolisthesis L5, DDD L3,4,5, scoliosis, failed back syndrome,whole back fusion, 10/07 & 10/07 two stage, T1 through S1, hardware failure 4/08, complete two stage redo, 4/08 & 5/08, one through back, and one through the front. 42 pedicle screws, titanium rods from T1 - S1 in back, titaium rods in front from L3 - S1, 3 titanium cages, L3,4,5. 6 months post op, doing OK.. Never will I be free from pain and stiffness.. Last 4 surgeries done at the UCSF Medical Center in SF, they are the number one spine center in the country right now......
  • You need to see an attorney. The statute of limitations in my state is 2 years unless the extent of the injury would not have been apparent and therefore in some circumstances you can still file after that time. The laws vary by state.

    I would also report the wrong site incident to The Joint Commission-it is a national healthcare accrediting body and wrong site surgical errors are one of the 7 patient safety goals. Complaints to this organization are taken very seriously and healthcare organizations seriously sweat their routine inspections, so just imagine how a complaint would make them clean up their act. This federal agency has the power to fine them, not allow them to be reimbursed by federal programs, or even shut the hospital doors.


    Your state department of professional regulation(the department that gives the doctor/nurses their licenses) needs to also investigate this event.

    You might speak with the hospital's risk management department/quality control about the incident. They might agree to not charge you for the surgery due to wrong site error.

    I hope that you get the care/relief you need. Please report this so that it doesn't happen to other patients and seek an attorney so that maybe they can help with medical bills.
  • Yep

    See a lawyer. Sounds like you need a lot of help.

    Good Luck to ya.

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  • Yeah, I was going to say, like ernurse said, the statutes vary by state, or even country depending on where you live, obviously.

    My surgeon always makes marks on me before surgery.... With a marker. And they always ask me what I'm having done, even though it says it on the paper. They want to make sure, number 1, I know what's going on, and 2, they have the correct information.

    I would talk to a lawyer. It can't hurt. You really have nothing to lose.
  • you have been though already and I am so sorry you are still in pain.

    I agree that you need to report this incident and after you get your notes seek advice from a solicitor. I nknow in Australia that the first consultation is free where they decide if they can help you at all.

    So before you do that you need to get everything written down on computer with a time line and as much info as you can get together (it wont be an easy job) include all monies spend by both you and your health insurance company.
    Just have this prepared beforehand.

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • X( Hi Charry,

    When I went to get the staple out the doctor asked me why I was telling everybody that he screwed up, he said that was not true. The surgery was suppose to be 1 1/2 hours, he came out to my husband and apologized that he had went in at the L1 instead of the L4-5 and they were doing Xrays to find out where the bad discs were, so he went back in and cut down to the L4-5, so surgery was 4 hours and the incision was huge compared to what it should have been and I was also bleeding really bad. I did call an attorney but he called me back and said he was a good friend of the doctor so he couldn't take my case, so I think that it how the doctor knew I had told someone else! Now they are not giving me any pain meds and I cannot sleep, it has only been 4 1/2 weeks since surgery...I am getting so fed up!
  • Hi, I did call an attorney, he called me back saying he was a good friend of the doctor and could not represent me, then when I went in to have my staples taken out the doctor asked me why I was telling people that he went into the wrong part of the spine, he said that is not true....then why was my surgery that was suppose to take 1 1/2 hours ...4 hours, and he came out and apologized to my husband stating he had went to the L1-2 and they had to xray to see which discs were bad, the surgery was for a discectomy on the L4-5 and he cut me off of pain meds on the 10th day of post op, I had 25-30 staples in my back not to mention he had cut me from the L-1 down and I was bleeding so heavily they had to use special tools to stop the bleeding, maybe that is why I was in such horrid pain for a 4 weeks after surgery , I had to use a walker to walk and screamed everytime I had to move, turnover or get up. I have called another attorney and am waiting to hear back. This all started when I fell back off a surgical table that snapped in two it was my 3rd day post op and they were removing stitches, I never realized all of this back trouble was most likely from that on 8-29-05 and now that doctors ins co sent me a letter stating the statue of limitation is 2 years and denied the claim, I left her a message stating I did not realize I was injured until 6 -8 months ago, so we will see, I know I will never take a doctors word again. The doctor when I fell off the surgical table promised he would take cars of me and now he sends everything to the ins to deny becasue of the statue...I should have sued him when it happened, now I know better not to trust a doctor.
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