Visitor Question

Doctor ignoring mistake?

Submitted By: Tom (Warrington, PA)

I went to have a Bone Spur removed from my heel 11/21/14. My surgeon told me everything went well with my surgery. I was originally told I would be able to return to working my stand up job within 10 days. By the end of December I was still having a lot of pain walking and still have not returned to work.

I asked my doctor if there was a problem and he said some people just take longer to heal. I asked if I could have an MRI done to make sure there wasn’t a problem. He said he didn’t need to look at the MRI disk. I had the MRI done and my doctor said everything looked normal and it would just take longer to heal.

He gave me a cortisone injection on 12/30/14 and told me to see him in 3 weeks. I saw him 3 weeks later still having pain walking. This time I brought my wife with me and she heard the doctor say at least everything looked good on the MRI. I finally decided to go see another doctor on 2/6/15.

The doctor requested my MRI results and I brought my MRI disk for him to look at. The new doctor read the report, examined the MRI disk and then had me get an X-ray. He told me that he believes that the doctor who performed the surgery may have went into the bone too far and then pulled out the tool quickly and damaged the bone.

He showed me a thin line in the bone. He put me in a cast boot for the next 3 weeks to help the bone heal properly. I asked for a copy of the MRI report and it did not say everything looked normal.

From what I could understand, they requested that more imaging be done because they saw something, but needed a different view to be sure. It also said something about a possible tear in the Fascia. My doctor told me he was going to cut the Fascia away from the bone to release some tension and to relieve pain.

I believe now that the original surgeon knew he made a mistake and didn’t say anything. I think he was just hoping it would fix itself without giving proper treatment to fix his mistake, fearing I would ask why I needed a cast.

There was also a resident that introduced himself before my surgery and said that he would be observing the surgery. I would have never agreed to let a resident perform a surgery on my foot and never gave permission to let him.

Is there any way to find out if the resident was allowed to do the surgery? Do I have a malpractice case against the first doctor? I went to this doctor because he had 30 plus years as a podiatrist, but it looks like he made a mistake. Is there anything I can do?

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 Tom,

You should be able to tell who was involved in the surgery by reviewing your medical records. You have a right to copies of them, or at least to review them.

Contact your doctor’s office and request copies of your records. Your doctor has a reasonable amount of time to provide them to you. A reasonable amount of time could be anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, depending upon how busy the doctor and his staff are.

Unless your initial podiatrist falsified the medical records, the resident’s name should be somewhere among the documentation.

From the facts you present you may have the basis of a medical malpractice claim.

Medical malpractice is defined as professional negligence by by a healthcare provider where the treatment provided or omitted fell beneath the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and causes injury or death to the patient.

If medical malpractice can be proven, you will be entitled to compensation for any additional medical bills resulting from the initial malpractice, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and you pain and suffering.

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: February 10, 2015

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