Spine Injury Claims from Medical Errors during Surgery
Ongoing back pain and spinal conditions can be extraordinarily difficult to manage on a daily basis, interrupting the sufferers’ regular activities and often preventing them from engaging in their passions. Whether back pain is a continuous problem or a person suffers trauma that results in back or spine issues, spinal surgery may present a welcome and encouraging potential form of relief. Unfortunately, approximately 50 percent of all patients who undergo spinal procedures do not experience the intended outcome: pain relief. Beyond the disappointment of an unsuccessful operation, some are left with severe complications or are further injured in the course of their procedure. If you are wondering whether mistakes on the part of the surgeon or medical staff involved in your spine surgery left you with unintended injuries, the following explains some of the most common types of spine procedures and associated complications that often give rise to medical malpractice claims. If you would like to discuss a specific instance of spine surgery malpractice and the legal avenues that may be available to you, contact our New Jersey medical malpractice law firm today.
Understanding the Anatomy of the Spine
In order to understand injuries during spine surgery, it is first vital to understand the interconnected nature of the spine, back, and neck. The spine is among the most critical structures of the body. Its two core functions are to help a person stand erect and to protect the nerves and spinal cord, which transmit signals throughout the body and are essential for many other core processes. The spine runs along the vertical part of the body from the neck to the sacrum. There are three main components of the spine, which include:
- The cervical spine: 7 bones in the neck
- The thoracic spine: 12 bones in the chest; and
- The lumbar spine: 5 bones in the lower back
Intertwined among these bones are nerves, muscles, ligaments, and discs. Each element of the spine is ultimately connected to the others, which explains why pain in one region may send nerve signals elsewhere. When the nerves of the spine become irritated, the muscles of the back are strained, a bone is fractured, a ligament or joint is injured, the discs in the vertebrae become damaged, compressed, or diseased, infection strikes, a person sustains trauma, or another form of injury affects the spinal column, the results can be devastating.
Common Spine Procedures & Associated Complications
Types of Spinal Surgeries
There are two primary types of spine procedures, one of which involves decompression, while the other addresses stabilization. Compression refers to conditions affecting the nerves in the spine. Typically, these surgeries are used when a disc becomes compressed and pinches an associated nerve. Individuals with nerve pressure can experience severe pain and may find that their condition inhibits their ability to function. A decompression procedure can address the underlying condition causing the nerve compression and release the pressure on the nerve or nerves being pinched.
On the other hand, surgery to stabilize the structure of the spine itself may be used to address issues affecting the bones, ligaments, muscles, or cartilage causing ongoing pain or disability. Since the spine is responsible for supporting nearly half of the entire weight of the body, stabilizing this structure can be essential to prevent long-term disability. Rods, plates, or screws may be used during stabilization operations to provide additional support. In addition, one type of surgical procedure called a spinal fusion is used to permanently connect two or more vertebrae in the spine. By fusing these vertebrae together, the procedure can provide support and address conditions ranging from scoliosis to herniated disks.
Injuries from Back & and Spine Procedures
Medical negligence involving spinal procedures may occur when a surgeon negligently performs the procedure, recommends the procedure when it is contraindicated, fails to inform the patient of possible negative outcomes and side effects, does not provide information about alternative treatment options, or fails to recognize complications during postoperative care. Some of the possible injuries and complications resulting from spine surgery malpractice include:
- Tingling, numbness, or burning in the arms or legs, or another region
- Blood vessel damage near the surgical site
- Excessive bleeding
- Pain surrounding the surgical site
- Chronic pain
- Cognitive or neurological impairments
Get Help with Your Spine Surgery Malpractice Case in New Jersey
If you experienced any of the above injuries after a spine procedure, you may be eligible to recover compensation for corrective surgeries, physical therapy, ongoing treatment and rehabilitation, loss of income due to missed work or permanent disability, and pain and suffering. The New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Fronzuto Law Group have represented clients in a broad range of medical malpractice cases, including those involving surgery. To speak with an attorney about your spinal injuries and discuss the potential for recovering compensation, call (973)-435-4551 today. You can also arrange a free case evaluation by filling out the form below.