The Law Offices of John Phebus

Surgical errors leading to chronic back and leg pain

Sometimes, Arizonans who get surgery on their backs for back pain will experience new or chronic pain in their backs and legs. This is called failed back surgery syndrome, and it has two primary causes.

Some people experience this syndrome because they shouldn't have received the surgery to start with. They may have been misdiagnosed, or there may have been a pre-surgery evaluation that was not good enough. If the person was not a good candidate for the back surgery, the surgery itself may introduce new problems in addition to the ones he or she already had.

The second primary reason that a person may develop failed back surgery syndrome is that the surgeon may have performed the surgery incorrectly. There are several things that can occur during open back surgery that may harm the patient. The doctor could accidentally damage a nerve ending or perform the surgery at the wrong area. The patient may reject the bone graft or have scar tissue build that compresses the nerve. Additionally, the hardware used for the fusion may fail, or the person may develop an infection after the operation that causes damage.

When a doctor makes a surgical error that leaves a patient suffering from chronic pain due to an unnecessary surgery or one that was performed incorrectly, the patient may be able to sue the doctor for medical malpractice. A lawyer may use a medical expert to review the patient's medical records in order to make a determination about whether an error resulted in the patient's chronic pain condition. If medical malpractice appears to have occurred, the attorney might agree to accept representation. He or she may then file a formal civil complaint and work to recover damages in an amount that is sufficient to fairly compensate the plaintiff.

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