Botched ACL Reconstruction Surgery...

by Sean
(New York, NY)

I tore my ACL in April 2014 and underwent reconstruction surgery. The first couple of months my recovery and rehab progressed ahead of schedule according to my physical therapist. But after about a 2-3 month period I wasn't seeing much progress. My knee was perpetually swollen and hurt quite a bit with a fair amount of weakness.

Both my PT and original surgeon seemed to think it was due to my quad atrophy and that I needed to follow the PT guidelines more closely. In their defense, I was probably not doing 100% of what was asked to be done due to personal commitments.

Around 6-7 months after the surgery, I decided to take meds to reduce the inflammation and push through the pain and do PT as prescribed. Over the next 3 months I saw a significant improvement in my quad muscle strength, but the swelling and pain in the knee remained.

A second MRI was suggested and this time the indication was cyclops scar tissue and a possible tear of the meniscus. Given that I was always in pain I couldn't imagine having done any activity to tear my meniscus again. In any case, I decided to get the cyclops scar tissue removed and the meniscus repaired/cleaned.

In July 2015 I was operated upon by a different surgeon who found out that a large piece of my old ACL was still inside my knee and was rubbing against the new ACL, causing significant inflammation. There also was a partial tear of my meniscus which she subsequently cleaned.

I did a lot of research online but I couldn't find another case like mine and I am not even sure if this was due to negligence. Can you shed some light as to whether I have enough to proceed with a malpractice case? How can I find out out if this was surgical negligence? Thanks for any direction you can give.

Visitor Question:
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.

ANSWER for "Botched ACL Reconstruction Surgery...":

Sean (New York, NY):

Let's start by reviewing the definition of medical malpractice. It's a commission or omission by a physician which falls beneath the medical standard of care in the medical community, and as a result a patient is unduly injured.

Read more about liability in medical malpractice cases.

A medical malpractice claim should never be handled without representation by an experienced attorney specializing in malpractice cases.

These claims are vigorously defended by physicians and their insurance companies. Unlike car accident personal injury claims, where an insurance company can settle a claim with or without the insured's consent, most malpractice insurance policies permit the physician to decide whether or not the insurance company can settle the claim.

Physicians rarely consent to settling a malpractice claim against them. To do so can have a harmful effect on their career.

To know whether or not you have the basis of a viable medical malpractice claim requires a review of your medical records by an experienced malpractice attorney. Most of these attorneys have access to medical experts. If the attorney believes you have the basis of a medical malpractice claim, he or she will send your medical records to his or her medical expert.

Fortunately, most malpractice attorneys will not charge for an initial office consultation. Moreover, if the attorney decides to accept your case, he or she will not charge any legal fees or costs of the case until, and unless the case is settled or won at trial.

Each state has its own specific statutes of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. If a lawsuit is not filed within the allowed time period, the plaintiff (victim) loses his or her legal right to compensation.

The New York statute of limitations is two years and six months after the alleged malpractice, or within two years and six months after the last medical treatment. To read the actual statute, go to the New York Civil Practice and Rules page here.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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