Compensation for Arthroscopic Ankle Surgery...

by Tammy
(Livermore, CA)

Before my daughter's graduation I was walking across the wooden bleachers at the school and the wood broke. I fell through and got a bad ankle sprain. The wood hit my ankle and I broke both my elbows. I was in severe pain but did not want to miss my daughter's graduation. I took pain pills and drank Jack Daniels to make it through the night.

I have pictures of her graduation, but I do not remember much of it. My ankle hurt so bad I did not realize that my elbows were broke until about a week later. Since then I've had ankle pain and got a custom fit boot for stability, but it didn't help. I wasn't able to walk more than 20-30 minutes at a time. I had difficulty working, could not wake board, ski, play golf or any other sport.

I almost fell down stairs a couple of times when my ankle gave out and finally the doctor ordered me a MRI. That's when he found a couple of cysts that needed to be drained. The surgery was supposed to be a simple incision - arthroscopic ankle surgery. Once the doctor got inside he found a lot of scar tissue that he had to clean out.

It's been four weeks and I still cannot walk. I have to hobble everywhere and I'm still in pain. The doctor also said I will probably have to have full ankle surgery later. Do I have any recourse for my injuries?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Compensation for Arthroscopic Ankle Surgery...":

Tammy (Livermore, CA):

You certainly have legal recourse. From the facts you present we're unable to determine the treatment you received for your broken elbows. Whether you are right or left handed, the effect of two broken elbows should have been at a minimum quite painful, and worse, debilitating.

It would be important to understand not only the type of treatment you received for your broken elbows, but the medical and non-medical costs you incurred. There are several types of broken elbows. They are Non-displaced, Displaced, Comminuted, and an Open fracture.

• Non-displaced: A fracture is non-displaced when the bone cracks or breaks but stays in place.

• Displaced: A fracture is displaced when the two ends of the broken bone are separated.

• Comminuted: A fracture is comminuted when the bone cracks or breaks into many pieces.

• Open fracture: An open fracture occurs when the broken bone breaks through your skin.

There are also just about as many ways broken elbows are treated. For example, it would be important to know if your treatment consisted of wearing a brace, a cast, a sling or even a splint.

The matter of your ankle is perplexing. Normally an ankle sprain is just that – a sprain. Wearing a “boot” can be part of the treatment, but normally a sprain heals within a few days, or if the sprain is severe, a week or two. Still being unable to walk for a month after a sprain is quite rare.

The MRI diagnosed cysts. Cysts do not result from ankle sprains, nor do ankle sprains result in scar tissue.

We suggest you sort out your medical bills, referred to as “Hard Costs”. Once your doctor makes a full diagnosis of your injuries, you can pursue your case.

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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