Misplacement of Pedicle Screws Leads to Years of Pain and Opioid Addiction
A Colorado man recently underwent a spinal fusion surgery at the L4-S1 levels of his spine which was performed by the man's orthopedic surgeon. Over the course of the ensuing several months, the man continued to complain of significant back pain. An MRI was ordered and performed but proved to be inconclusive. The man continued to be prescribed powerful opioids for his pain. Six months later, the man presented to the hospital in excruciating pain and underwent a second MRI. The ordering physician told him that a surgical screw from his spinal fusion surgery was impinging on his nerve. A CT scan was recommended. Notwithstanding the recommendation for a CT scan, the man's surgeon told him that the scan was not necessary. The man continued to experience significant back pain over the course of the next several years, for which he continued to receive opioid pain medications. Ultimately, the man requested and received a CT scan which revealed that a pedicle screw used in the fusion surgery was in fact impinging on the man's S1 nerve.
Following the removal of the pedicle screw, the Colorado man sued the surgeon on the grounds that he misplaced the pedicle screw and failed to timely order a CT scan to diagnose the cause of his continuing post-operative back pain. As part of his allegations, the Colorado man alleged that he became addicted to pain medications which contributed to his problems and resulted in the need for addiction related treatment.
The matter recently proceeded to trial and the Colorado jury awarded the man roughly $465,000.
At STSW, our lawyers routinely handle surgical cases in which hardware is misplaced or placed in areas causing injury to adjacent structures. If you or a loved one have been injured in the Baltimore or Washington D.C. areas as the result of medical negligence / medical error / surgical error, call our legal team for a free consultation at (410) 385-2225.