Visitor Question

Screws from a previous surgery were too long and shredded my tendons…

Submitted By: Christine (Indiana)

I had surgery for a broken wrist in 2006. The doctor put nine screws and a mental plate in my wrist. The doctor told me that my wrist would never be the same and I could have some pain due to scar tissue or arthritis. I went through physical therapy and was released with my thumb not being able to completely extend.

Throughout the years my wrist would be sore at times, or would swell but I thought that was from the scar tissue/arthritis. Last month I could not move my finger. I had surgery, and they found two of my tendons were shredded from the screws being too long. One of them included my thumb. The surgeon mentioned that my thumb’s tendon was really messed up and that is probably why I could not extend my thumb.

The surgeon sawed down three screws that were too long and shredded my tendons. It gets complicated because my new surgeon is in the same practice as the 1st surgeon yet he is no longer with this practice. I am currently going to the same physical therapist that I went to from the first surgery.

Can I do anything about the fact the surgeon put screws in that were too long and shredded my tendons? Do I have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit and what is the statute of limitations for my situation? Thanks for any information you can give that may help me.

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.


Dear Christine,

You may still be able to file a lawsuit even though the statute of limitations has passed. In cases where an injured party couldn’t have reasonably discerned medical malpractice occurred prior to the statute of limitation’s expiration, the courts have often “tolled” the statute of limitations so that the period begins to run from the time the victim could have reasonably discerned the malpractice occurred.

In your case you only recently discovered the length of the screws caused your tendons to shred, resulting in extreme pain and discomfort and its associated medical bills, out of pocket expenses, and possibly lost wages. Speak with a malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Most will not charge a fee for an initial office consultation. Be sure to bring along copies of all of your medical records.

Because the malpractice may have occurred during the time the doctor was associated with the present medical group, the insurance in existence at the time may be responsible for defending the suit.

Learn more here: Medical Device Product Liability

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 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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