Medical Malpractice - Failed spinal fusion with reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Plaintiff, a 49-year-old woman with a history of scoliosis, underwent spinal fusion with instrumentation by defendant. Before surgery, her symptoms were limited to low back pain and left leg pain. After surgery, she was found to have a severe left foot drop with numbness and reduced sensation. Despite these symptoms, the defendant failed to investigate to see if there may be misplaced instrumentation.
Plaintiff underwent a lumbar CAT scan three months post-operatively which demonstrated misplaced pedicular screws, which encroached several nerve roots. Despite these abnormal findings, defendant failed to bring plaintiff back to the operating room for corrective surgery.
Approximately two years later, plaintiff came under the care of a new orthopedic surgeon who brought plaintiff back to the operating room for a complete revision and replacement of all of the spinal hardware. The fusion, which had previously been at two levels, was extended to four levels. Plaintiff obtained significant relief from the three-stage corrective surgery. However, she was left with a mild left foot drop and persistent pain in the left leg and foot.