Chronic Cervical Pain and Poor Treatment...
On March 22, 2012, I got a cervical fusion from my C-2 through T-1 vertebrae to cure pain from years of chronic daily cervical migraines. The surgeon sent me for epidurals and pain blocks which did not work. When surgery was first scheduled I was told by the surgeon that he was going to fuse the C2 and C3. Then the day before surgery he said he was going to do "a fix" so that I would have no pain at all and fuse C2 through T1.
The surgery went well. Several months after surgery I was still having bad headaches where I was going to the ER for IV Dilaudid for break-through pain. I went back to the surgeon who said everything looked good on the CT scan. Several days later I went to the ER and they also did a CT scan that showed a possible pinched nerve. This CT scan was sent to my surgeon who said that I had a screw loose, but since I was already fused it should not cause any pain.
I am now seeing a pain management Dr. and taking Lortab, as well as on the fentanyl 25mcg patch, and I am still visiting the ER (11 times since this past December) for breakthrough pain. I feel that my surgeon gave me false information and also sent me back to work as a nursing assistant full duty way to soon. I am presently on leave without pay until they decide if the original injury was indeed work related.
I went to my surgeon just last week and asked him about a hard knot on the surgical site. He said that it was bone because I had no fatty tissue and not to worry. When I went just the other day for massage therapy the therapist said it should not be there. I am at my wit's end.
What can I do? Especially when the surgeon now suggests an implantable pain device? Do I have a possible malpractice case? I don't think this surgeon knows what he's doing. Thanks for any information you can give.
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ANSWER for "Chronic Cervical Pain and Poor Treatment...":
Patricia (Venice, Florida):
Seek a second medical opinion, and a third if necessary. If you've lost confidence in your present physician, seek treatment from another. Your medical condition is very complicated and assessing liability for any medical malpractice will have to be determined by a personal injury attorney with substantial experience in medical malpractice cases. Even then an attorney will need to consult with his own expert physicians.
If you are considering pursuing a personal injury medical malpractice claim, you'll need to gather copies of all your medical records, including x-rays, CAT Scan results, MRIs, and receipts for out of pocket expenses for medications and the like. Additionally, have your employer give you a written letter verifying the dates of your employment and when you first had to miss work because of your medical condition. Your attorney will need all this information.
Also collect the names and addresses of all doctors who treated you. If possible get the names and contact information for nurses and other medical personnel who were involved in your treatment. They may be potential witnesses in your favor.
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,
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