Visitor Question

Do these hand surgery problems constitute medical negligence?

Submitted By: Denna (Belleville, Illinois USA)

I severed one of my extensor thumb tendons between the thumb & wrist on my left hand. I was unable to raise my thumb in a “thumbs up” gesture, nor could I place my hand, palm down on a surface and raise my thumb. I could bend the first knuckle of the thumb in a downward motion but could not raise it back up.

The surgeon scheduled surgery 1 week later to re-attach it. He scheduled the surgery for a 20 minute time frame. After surgery, he informed me that the tendon had retracted & he chose to transfer the tendon to another tendon in my wrist.

Since that time, I have been in therapy. After 2 months I still do not have any of the movements that I originally lost, but now I have additional swelling, pain in the wrist & hand, and loss of range of motion in the wrist & fingers. The scar appears ragged & despite all attempts of scar maintenance, has now adhered to tissue underneath, hindering even more range of motion. I also have a permanent lump, approximately the size of a dime, on top of the wrist. It’s painful and hinders movement of the wrist.

He now wants to schedule me for another surgery to see why this did not work and possibly transfer it, yet again, to a different tendon. I have missed 7 weeks of work, had out-of-pocket costs of $2000.00 and can not do my full duties at work. Does this qualify as medical negligence? What can I do to get this resolved? Thank you.

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 Denna,

At this point there is really no way to tell you whether or not your recent and ongoing experiences constitute medical malpractice. To know if you have been the victim of malpractice will require the advice and counsel of an attorney with substantial experience in this field. A knowledgeable and experienced malpractice attorney will be able to review your medical records and listen to what you have to say.

Fortunately, there are a substantial number of highly qualified medical malpractice attorneys in the Belleville area. Most have web sites with extensive information about their experience and past success with medical malpractice claims.

Gather copies of your medical records, including medical charts, results of diagnostic tests, and more. Make copies of your medical bills and receipts for out of pocket expenses. Ask your employer for a written verification of the days you had to miss work and the amount of wages you lost as a direct result of your injuries and subsequent medical treatment.

Most medical malpractice attorneys do not charge fees for initial office consultations. Be sure to visit with more than one. It will be worth it in the end.

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: December 18, 2013

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