Surgical Errors on the Spinal Cord

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Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Daniel Harwin

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The spinal cord is a delicate part of the body that can easily sustain serious damage. Bundles of nerves in the spine control the messaging system between the body and the brain. Spine surgery mistakes such as unnecessary procedures, wrong-level surgeries, or excessively risky operations can interrupt this messaging system and cause permanent loss of function and sensation below the point of injury (paralysis).

Contact the spinal cord injury attorneys at Freedland Harwin Valori Gander to learn about your potential claim for free in Florida.

Negligence-Related Spine Surgery Errors

Operating on the spinal cord requires skill and appropriate care. Surgeries such as spinal fusions, spinal disc replacement, discectomy, or laminectomy require a significant amount of care and precision from surgeons, as the smallest mistake could have lifelong consequences for the patient. Even if the surgeon does everything according to the highest standards of medical care, the patient could suffer complications, adverse reactions, or outcomes that result in temporary or permanent disability. In many cases, however, someone did something wrong that caused the injury.

Unnecessary Procedures

Undergoing spine surgery is a major decision. After suffering a spine injury or chronic back pain, you must discuss all your treatment options with specialists before concluding that surgery is the best one. There could be many non-surgical options such as physical therapy, medications, or chiropractic care. If a specialist recommends and performs surgery when an alternative such as physical therapy or pain medication would have been sufficient, you could bring a medical malpractice claim on the grounds that the procedure was unnecessary. The surgeon might have recommended the procedure only to make a profit.

Wrong-Level Surgeries

Performing surgery on the wrong level of the neck or back is a surgical error unique to spine surgeries. The spinal cord has several levels at which injury or issues could occur. Operating on the disc between the L2 and L3 vertebrae, for example, instead of the correct L3 and L4 vertebrae, is operating on the wrong level. Wrong-level surgeries are surprisingly common, but it might not qualify as malpractice if the surgeon notices and fixes the mistake during the operation. If a surgeon operates on the wrong level and doesn’t notice, he or she could negligently cause patient harm.

Failure to Assess the Risks vs. Benefits

A surgeon must carefully weigh the risks vs. the benefits of a spine surgery based on the patient’s status and medical history before recommending a procedure. In many cases, less-invasive options to surgery exist that could yield the same or similar results for a spine injury patient. Failing to offer the patient the less-invasive option to minimize risks could be an act of negligence if the spine surgery ends up causing undue or preventable harm to the patient.

Talk to a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today

Communication gaps, equipment problems, wrong-site surgery, surgical mistakes, and anesthesia errors can all result in unnecessary patient harms during a complex spinal cord surgery. If you noticed the loss of feeling or function, debilitating pain, paralysis, or psychological injuries after a spine surgery, you might be the victim of medical malpractice. Talk to our attorneys to discuss your case and find out if someone should have done something to prevent your harm. If this is the case, we can help you bring your claim against the responsible party/parties in Florida.

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