Experts in Spinal Disk Repair Opine on Abnormal Side Effects

Cody Porcoro

Written by
— Updated on December 21, 2017

An Orthopedic Surgeon was sued for an incomplete laminectomy of his patient’s spine, as an attempt to remedy a disk extrusion caused his patient years of medical trouble. The extrusion had occurred years prior when the patient attempted work-related heavy lifting, and at the time she had merely exhibited discomfort without major consequences from the injury. She finally underwent a laminotomy and discectomy a year later when conservative management of the injured disk had failed. During the operation, a slight tear of the dura tissue matter was inadvertently created, and the surgeon repaired it using DuraSeal. It was a routine occurrence and strategy for these surgeries, but the patient began to complain of abnormal pain in her leg and knee, experiencing numbness and bladder incontinence less than a week later. Her difficulties with bowel and bladder function intensified, yet she was not returned to the OR for re-evaluation. Since then, she has required extensive surgical treatments including a urethral mesh sling and subtotal colectomy.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Do you routinely treat patients like the one described in this case?
  • 2. Have you ever had a patient develop this outcome?

Expert Witness Response E-000634

The real issue would be how much nerve damage was caused, and unfortunately, in these cases, there is only one witness: the surgeon. I have seen an outcome like this, but the surgeon in question was terrible, and tied up all the nerves with a drill.

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