Continued Pain After Multiple Ankle Surgeries...

by Anonymous
(USA)

I had a subtalar ankle fusion in July of 2010. I followed all the doctor's rules but it did not heal at all, making it a non-union. I have no underlying medical condition that would explain why this would happen. I remained in horrible pain and had to stay on pain pills, which I wasn't on previously. The pain was constant and similar to walking on a fracture in terms of the discomfort.

In Sept of 2011, my doctor said I would need to attempt another ankle fusion so we did. Again I followed all the doctor's instructions but once again, it only healed about 20%. He let me begin bearing weight around 7 weeks post-op. It has been just over a year since the second surgery and I am in worse pain now than I was before I even went for the first one. I am still on pain pills over two years later and am not able to get off of them due to the pain.

I finally told him I was convinced my heel is crooked and once I pointed it out he agreed. Now he says I need another surgery but this one is to move my heel over. When I asked him if this could be the reason my bones never fused, considering the calcaneus is directly involved in that fusion, he said "not necessarily".

I don't know what to believe at this point. As it stands now, I'm dependent on pain pills, in worse pain than before I went to him, and have no left to right motion since I gave that up in an attempt to alleviate my pain. I have problems with my left knee for all the overcompensation, my right knee has begun to have problems, and I have several other areas of my foot that now hurt in addition to the original ankle pain.

I haven't been able to work because I've had surgery each of the last two years and now need a third. I won't even get into the emotional and marital problems this has caused. Did I mention I have FOUR kids to tend to? Shouldn't my doctor have been able to determine that the calcaneus was crooked and adjust it BEFORE he proceeded to surgically fuse my bones, not once, but twice?

Also, after coming in a year after surgery with this much pain, why did I have to point it out to him? Every time he just gives me cortisone shots and tells me it will settle down. I even went so far as to let myself be put into a cast for 4 weeks which was 9 months after that second surgery. Does this sound like malpractice to you? What are my options here? Thanks for any information you can give.

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ANSWER for "Continued Pain After Multiple Ankle Surgeries...":

Anonymous (USA):

Although it's impossible for us to answer the medical questions you've presented, it does seem fairly obvious something went terribly wrong. If you are convinced your problems are due to one or more doctor's malpractice you shouldn't hesitate to seek legal counsel.

There are some personal injury claims which can be self-represented, or handled by the injured party himself without the need for an attorney. But when it comes to medical malpractice a victim should never consider self-representation. There are just too many obstacles. Doctors seldom if ever admit to malpractice and your chances of getting a doctor or his insurance company to admit and accept liability are slim to non-existent.

In addition, if the pain medication you have been taking is opioid-based you may have unintentionally become addicted. That in and of itself is further grounds for a personal injury medical malpractice claim.

Your next step should be to contact and experienced personal injury attorney with substantial experience in medical malpractice cases. Most personal injury attorneys do not charge for initial office consultations. Before things get any worse do some research about local personal injury attorneys and call several of them for office consultations.

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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