Orthopedic surgery has many potential benefits, including pain relief and increased mobility and range of motion for those dealing with problems related to bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves and tendons. However, if medical malpractice occurs during your surgery, the consequences could be severe or even life-threatening.
If you were a victim of orthopedic malpractice, contact a Savannah orthopedic malpractice attorney today to explore your potential legal options. We may be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf to obtain compensation for medical bills and other damages caused by your injuries. We have in-depth knowledge of orthopedic surgery and how negligence can contribute to serious injuries.
We offer a free, no obligation legal consultation and take cases on a contingency fee basis, which means there is no charge for our services unless you receive compensation.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Orthopedic Malpractice?
These cases have the same statute of limitations as other medical malpractice cases – two years from the date of injury or death. This means if you do not file a lawsuit within that period of time, you will lose the right to do so.
The statute of repose also applies to orthopedic malpractice cases. This applies to cases where the victim does not immediately discover he or she has been a victim of medical malpractice. The statute says you have two years from the date you discover your injury or when you were reasonably expected to have discovered it. However, all lawsuits must be filed within five years of your injury, no matter when you discovered it.
Some orthopedic malpractice cases involve items left inside of patients, such as scalpels or surgical instruments. These claims are governed by a separate statute of limitations – you must file a lawsuit within one year of discovering your injury.
Roden Law's Savannah medical malpractice attorneys have thorough knowledge of these different statutes of limitations. If we take your case, we will help you determine the statute that applies to your claim so we can file a lawsuit on time.
Schedule a free legal consultation with our attorneys today.
What Conditions Do Orthopedic Surgeons Treat?
Orthopedic surgeons are doctors who diagnose and treat injuries and health problems involving your musculoskeletal system, which consists of your:
Orthopedic surgeons often advise or work with doctors and specialists in other areas to try to determine appropriate treatment for patients who have issues with their musculoskeletal system.
In addition to performing surgery, orthopedic surgeons also recommend exercises or physical therapy to help patients improve mobility and strength. They may also treat conditions with medication and non-surgical interventions.
Some of the conditions orthopedic surgeons treat include:
- Anterior cruciate ligament injuries
- Bone cancer
- Bowlegged deformity
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
- Congenital hand deformities
- Cerebral palsy
- Dislocated joints, including shoulders, elbows, hips and knees
- Fractures, including broken arms, legs and collarbones
- Ganglion cyst
- Golfer's elbow
- Hip replacement
- Joint infections
- Knock knees
- Limb deformities
- Lisfranc fracture
- Marfan syndrome
- Patellar fracture
- Patellar tendinitis
- Pelvis fracture
- Peripheral nerve tumors
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ruptured discs
- Spinal stenosis
- Spina bifida
- Tennis elbow
- Torn meniscus
- Total knee replacement
- Ulnar wrist pain
If you believe medical malpractice occurred while you were being treated for one of these conditions, contact a Savannah orthopedic malpractice attorney for a free legal consultation.
Schedule your free consultation with Roden Law today.
Common Forms of Orthopedic Malpractice
Many things could go wrong during orthopedic surgery or other treatment you receive from an orthopedist. In some situations, this wrongdoing is a result of medical malpractice, and victims may be entitled to compensation.
Common forms of orthopedic malpractice include:
- Performing surgery on the wrong body part – This is a shockingly common surgical error and it can have severe consequences. Not only could the wrong body part be damaged in surgery, but the body part that needed treatment was not operated on. This means the victim may need another surgical procedure, putting him or her at risk for infection, bleeding and other complications.
- Leaving surgical tools inside patients – Doctors can leave sponges, towels or surgical tools inside of patients before sewing them up. This could cause infections and other damage to nearby tissues.
- Misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose an injury – Orthopedists may fail to correctly diagnose your medical condition because they misinterpreted imaging tests, such as CT scans or MRIs. They may also fail to order tests or have patients meet with other doctors to help discover the true medical condition. Failing to diagnose an injury means it goes untreated, causing more problems for patients and possibly making the condition more difficult or expensive to treat in the future.
- Putting a cast on too tightly – Orthopedists often use casts after providing treatment to help an injury heal correctly. However, if the cast is put on too tightly it can reduce blood flow to the area, making healing more difficult.
- Misplacing an orthopedic device – Our orthopedic malpractice attorneys in Savannah know orthopedists can put implants in the wrong way or in an incorrect position. For example, this could happen during knee replacement or hip replacement surgery. This could cause pain, limited mobility and the need for revision surgery.
- Failing to respond to surgical complications – This includes complications that occur during the procedure and when the patient is recovering. For example, doctors may fail to respond to distress during the procedure, such as an elevated heart rate, breathing problems, or adverse reactions to anesthesia. After surgery, doctors could fail to respond to infections, pain or other complications.
- Damaging body parts around the surgical site – This is always a concern during surgery, particularly during something as invasive as orthopedic surgery. If doctors are not careful, they could perforate organs, veins or tissues, causing more post-surgery complications.
- Damaging the sciatic nerve – The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down the backs of each leg. When it is damaged, it can cause pain in the hip, buttocks and legs. If this nerve is nicked during surgery, the patient could be at risk of severe pain and limited mobility.
- Using an implant that is the wrong size – If this happens, the victim could suffer long-term problems. For example, if it was a knee or hip replacement, the patient could develop an awkward gait that may be hard to correct even with revision surgery.
If you were the victim of these or any other types of orthopedic malpractice, contact an orthopedic malpractice attorney in Savannah today for a free legal consultation. We have detailed knowledge of the damages caused by orthopedic malpractice and are prepared to aggressively pursue the compensation you are owed.
Complications from Orthopedic Malpractice
When orthopedic surgery goes wrong, patients can suffer a variety of complications, some of which could be life-threatening, such as:
- Stiffness in the joints
- Excessive bleeding
- Fractured bones, particularly during implantation of a prosthesis
- Nerve damage
- Damage to blood vessels
- Blood clots, particularly after knee replacement surgery
- Excessive bone loss
- Legs or arms that are different lengths
- Dislocation of an implant
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Swelling caused by fluid leaking out of veins, arteries or lymph vessels
- Failure of an implant
The Savannah orthopedic malpractice lawyers at Roden Law will work with you to document all of the medical expenses created by these side effects. We will also help you document the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by these side effects.
How to Prove Orthopedic Malpractice
Your orthopedic malpractice lawyer in Savannah will need to establish four things to prove you were a victim of medical malpractice:
- There was a duty of care – A duty of care is an obligation under the law to provide medical care that is consistent with accepted standards of care in the medical community. This means your orthopedic surgeon needed to provide care similar to what would have been provided by another surgeon with similar training in a similar situation.
- The duty of care was violated – We will need to a provide a specific example, or examples, of when the doctor who treated you did not meet accepted medical standards. For instance, maybe the surgeon did not respond to complications in the way a similarly-trained medical professional would have.
- You were injured by the breach of duty of care – This means there was a direct link between the breached duty of care and your injuries. Our Savannah orthopedic malpractice attorneys will need to disprove claims from the other side that your injuries were the result of something else, such as a preexisting medical condition or your own actions.
- Your injuries resulted in damages – We need to provide evidence of the effects of your injuries, such as medical bills or personal accounts of the pain and suffering you have experienced.
If our Savannah orthopedic malpractice attorneys can prove these four things, we may be able to obtain compensation for the damages you have suffered. We have detailed knowledge of how to prove the four elements of malpractice and how to obtain the evidence we need.
Contact Roden Law today for a free, no obligation legal consultation.
Contact a Savannah Orthopedic Malpractice Attorney
Orthopedic malpractice can cause many severe injuries that could affect you for an extended period of time, or possibly the rest of your life.
The attorneys at Roden Law understand how devastating orthopedic malpractice can be to your health and finances. We are prepared to thoroughly investigate your situation and build a strong case as we pursue all the compensation you are owed.
Your consultation with a Savannah orthopedic malpractice lawyer is absolutely free and you will not be charged legal fees unless you receive compensation.