Visitor Question

Defective Titanium Medical Device…

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

In Janurary 2011 I had ACDF surgery (Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion). The surgeon implanted a medical device in my neck (c-spine). All was well until July. I had unusual severe pain in that area. X-rays showed the titanium plate within the device cracked. The doctor said it was the first time he ever saw that happen. I went for a second opinion and got the same answer.

I’m still in severe pain and I know it’s the cracked plate portion of the device that’s causing problems. I want it taken out. Can I file suit against the manufacturer even if I’m the first and only case of this? Can’t it just be a defective product? Thanks.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

You certainly have a substantial claim against the manufacturer of the device, and possibly the surgeon or surgeons who performed the surgery implanting the device.

Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) is a surgical procedure to treat nerve root or spinal cord compression by decompressing the spinal cord and nerve roots of the cervical spine in order to stabilize the corresponding vertebrae. This procedure is used when other non-surgical treatments have failed. The procedure is serious and requires surgical technical expertise.

Find a Board Certified Surgeon who has substantial expertise in anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. Visit with her and request an examination. You don’t have to make any reference to the possibility of litigation. That’s the first way to scare off a doctor. We do though urge you to be entirely truthful in answering any questions the doctor asks.

Next, see a second Board Certified Surgeon and go through the same routine. You are going to need to document the fracture to the titanium plate. Don’t hesitate to have whatever medical treatment you need to correct the damage. Although you seem to have an excellent medical malpractice and product liability case, hesitating to seek immediate medical care would be inappropriate and dangerous.

There are some personal injury cases which can be pursued without the help of a Personal Injury / Product Liability Attorney. This is not one of them.

Make an appointment to see several Attorneys at your earliest convenience. Their advice is crucial, especially at this point in the case. Most will not charge any fee for an initial office consultation. If you decide to retain one you will not have to pay any legal fees or costs to pursue the case until the case is settled or successfully litigated.

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

Best of luck,

Published: October 4, 2011

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4 thoughts on “Defective Titanium Medical Device…

  1. In Nov 2011 I fractured my right leg… a spiral fracture of my right tibia below the knee which then split to my ankle. I also had fractures of my fibula. A titanium plate and 12 screws were put in.

    I was weight bearing at 10 weeks because the titanium would hold. Within 18 months I had severe pain. The titanium broke near my ankle loosening the bottom screws.

    My options were to live with it or have it removed and start over. Awful.

  2. I had a surgery on Sept 9/9/2015, and after 3 months I was having burning and pain around my shoulder area and arm. I talked to my doctor and was told that the titanium plate was cracked and that now I have to have another surgery.

    Why are they allowed to use defective products on your body?

    I stayed in the hospital for 3 days the first time. The 2nd surgery will be done on the back of my neck, and again I’ll have a 3 day stay in the hospital (and the doctor and the hospital will be paid for it again).

    I can’t believe I have to go through the same pain all over again.

  3. My friend had neck surgery. The doctor implanted hardware made by spinal USA. Two months after surgery he started choking and could not lay down to sleep. He had difficulty swallowing soft food, and his voice changed to a whisper.

    X-rays showed latches were broken and a screw backed out. Then he had another surgery to remove the screw and broken pieces. Three weeks later he died of blood clots.

  4. Several years ago, a titanium plate was inserted over a non-union fracture. The fracture is an old story, due to the doctor neglecting to take x-rays… instead she just gave me a cortisone shot. This neglect would eventually cause a non-union fracture because of scar tissue build up!

    Five years after the mistake was found surgery was recommended to correct it, but there was a slim chance it would work. Shortly afterwards the plate broke.

    The broken plate has remained for the last six years. It has been discovered that because of a heart defect, the use of anesthesia during surgery can be fatal with someone with my condition.

    So for the last decade I’ve been dealing with the pain. I still work to support my family but the pain is becoming unbearable. I refuse to go on disability (it’s the soldier in me…Air Force Veteran….I refuse to quit.)

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