Not healing after full shoulder replacement surgery?

by Anonymous
(Tampa, Florida)

I had full shoulder replacement (left shoulder) surgery. A few days after surgery I went to see the doctor, and he explained to me what was done. A bone in my shoulder was broken and put back together with 2 screws and glue. The surgeon also had to cut a muscle and stitch it back together.

This surgery took place on 08/01/2013 and I'm still rehabbing as of 11/14/2013. There have been other patients that have had the same surgery and are through with rehab (I don't know if it was the same doctor that did their surgery). So I'm wondering if this broken bone that was put back together is the cause of my slow healing or if it will ever get back to near normal. This was done in Tampa, FL.

Could the doctor have done something that is causing me to heal much slower than the other patients? The lack of healing is causing me a lot of pain and suffering. Any perspective you can give would be appreciated. Thanks.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Not healing after full shoulder replacement surgery?":

Anonymous (Tampa, Florida):

Without copies of X-rays, a review of your medical records, and more it would be impossible for anyone to tell you with any degree of certainty whether or not your doctor did something which "is causing (you) to heal much slower than the other patients." It may just be your body doesn't heal as quickly as others, or it may be your surgery presented a greater medical challenge.

At this point you are miles away from any type of medical malpractice assertion. If you are convinced the doctor acted improperly and that impropriety is the cause of your extended pain and discomfort, then you should consider seeking a second, and maybe a third medical opinion. Keep in mind it is rare for a doctor to criticize another doctor's work. Like attorneys, accountants, and other professionals, there is a "club" mentality with doctors.

If you choose to seek additional medical opinions, you would be best served by not telling the doctors about your discontent with your preliminary doctor. Of course, don't lie if you are asked a direct question, but unless asked, it's probably not a good idea to denigrate your preliminary doctor's care.

Just find out if you are healing properly, and if not, why the doctors think you aren't. If there is a basis for corrective surgery, then you may have the genesis of a medical malpractice claim.

Take it one step at a time. Your health comes before anything else. If, at the completion of your inquiries you believe your preliminary doctor acted improperly, then seek out the advice and counsel of experienced malpractice attorneys in your area. You can't represent yourself in a med mal claim. They are complicated and hard-fought. Doctors rarely, if ever admit to having committed malpractice.

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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