How do I know if I have a medical malpractice case?
May 1, 2019
Six months after my total hip replacement surgery, I was back in the operating room having an exploratory surgery to figure out why I was in more pain than before the THR surgery. The surgery turned into a revision bc the prosthesis was loose, the surgeon was able to knock it out of my femur. Fast forward a year or so later and I am still in pain bc this prosthesis is loose now. My ortho surgeon who performed both surgeries has politely told me to seek help else where. Long story short, in the process of seeking other opinions, one dr suggested I get tested for a metal allergy. Turns out I am allergic to nickel, which is part of the mix of metals my current and past hip.I had almost every test known to man to try and figure out why my hip keeps failing. Not once did my surgeon think to test for metal allergies! If only we knew before he rushed me into the exploratory surgery turned hasty revision, i’d be back to normal by now instead of crippled and needing a 3rd THR to put in hardware that is nickel free. Would this be failure to diagnose? My life and in turn my young children’s lives have been terrible bc of my chronic pain and inability to be as active.
I sympathize with all that you've been through, but you're describing a rare situation, with no 'acute' reaction to the prosthesis, and there is an ongoing debate about the need for pre-surgery allergy testing in non-symptomatic patients. You appear to have had a number of second opinions - and for a lawsuit, you'd have to establish your original surgeon "departed from the accepted standard of care" (as in any any med mal case). Ask the surgeon who is doing your third hip replacement (and who is familiar with your history) if your original surgeon committed malpractice. The answer might be no. If the answer is yes, you should see a lawyer. Best of luck.
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