Complications from Multiple Shoulder Surgeries...

by Samantha
(Spring Valley, CA)

I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon for my right shoulder. I had an old A/C separation injury but currently I had a chipped bone in my right shoulder. He recommended surgery to take the fragment of bone out and fix my A/C separation by attaching a donated tendon to my clavicle bone.

This surgery took place in March. Everything seemed to go good and 2 months later I was back at work. By the end of July I noticed a bubble forming on the incision from the surgery. I went back to the doctor. He took out fluid with a syringe and had it sent off to the lab.

The fluid build-up got worse and he took me back into surgery that night where he removed the donated tendon and cleaned out the fluid, then I was admitted to the hospital. That week I had 3 surgeries and the next week I had 3 more surgeries.

The infectious disease doctor said nothing would grow in all the cultures he took, so he didn't know how to treat it. He put a pik line in my arm and just gave me massive antibiotics to cover everything. One week went by and I was back in the operating room 2 more times to clean out my shoulder. Every time he cut more bone and more tissue out.

Then things started to get a little better for a month. The pik line was removed and I was off the antibiotics. The next week the fluid came back. All of the cultures were taken again but they produced nothing, so the doctor decided to take me back to the operating room for 2 more surgeries to be washed out.

This time I went home with a wound vac attached to my shoulder and a new pik line. The wound vac was to heal the 4 1/2" deep hole in my shoulder. Another month went by and I was taken off the wound vac and the pik line with all the antibiotics.

It has been 3 months now and I'm realizing after attempting to go back to work that I cannot do my job anymore because of the pain in my shoulder. My shoulder now leaks fluid from the scar whenever I do activities with it for longer than 30 minutes.

My shoulder will never be the same and I feel it's compromised my job and my life. I had 10 surgeries in 3 months and now I feel I might be disabled. Is the doctor liable? Who is responsible for this? Is there anything I can do? Thank you for any help you can give.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Complications from Multiple Shoulder Surgeries...":

Samantha (Spring Valley, CA):

The amount of medical attention you received is enormous. It's impossible for me to determine whether or not the doctor committed malpractice. That conclusion will have to be made by medical specialists with specific training in orthopedic surgery.

If you want to pursue a legal claim against your orthopaedic surgeon and all those other medical personnel, hospital staff, and the hospital itself, begin by seeking out a personal injury attorney. Not just any personal injury attorney, but one with substantial expertise in medical malpractice cases. You will NOT be able to handle a medical malpractice case on your own.

Most personal injury attorneys do not charge a fee for an initial office consultation. Don't settle on the first one you consult with, speak with several. They should be honest with you and say whether they believe you have a case or not. Because of their experience in medical malpractice cases they should be able to examine your medical records and conclude how strong or weak a case you may have.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by consulting with several qualified personal injury attorneys. Once you do you will be able to understand the value of 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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