I had two surgeries to repair a broken ulnar bone in my arm. Each surgery the surgeon put a plate in to stabilize the bone. Each surgery resulted in a non-union of bone. I saw a second orthopedic surgeon for his opinion. He noticed that the elbow was dislocated, which caused misalignment of the ulnar bone and was causing the non-union.
The new doctor performed a 3rd surgery and replaced the original plate. He attached a longer rod for stabilization and also had to rebuild and repair the radial head of the elbow, which he noticed was fractured while performing the surgery. Now it all looks good and is lined up correctly.
My question is, shouldn't the 1st surgeon have seen the damage during the 1st or 2nd surgeries? I feel he should have been able to see these problems if not the 1st time definitely during the second surgery. Could he be held liable for the missed diagnosis? Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Missed diagnosis of dislocated elbow...":
Kevin (Massachusetts, USA):
Whether the first surgeon should have seen the damage during the first or second surgeries is a matter of medical opinion. You won't know if you have a legitimate medical malpractice claim until you secure at least one other medical opinion supporting your claim of malpractice. Doing so will be difficult.
Instead, seek the advice and counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney with substantial experience in medical malpractice cases.
Most successful medical malpractice attorneys have access to medical experts. In most cases if you find an attorney to take your case you won't have to pay for medical expert testimony or other investigative matters. That will all be paid for in advance by your attorney.
Gather copies of your medical records including diagnostic test results. Take them with you when you visit with the attorneys. Most attorneys will not charge for an initial office consultation. You would be best served by seeking consultations with several attorneys until such time as you feel comfortable with one.
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.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.