When you entrust your health to a healthcare professional, you expect to receive competent and compassionate care. Unfortunately, medical negligence can and does occur, causing harm and injury to patients. If you believe negligence during your knee surgery led to chronic issues, understanding the concept of medical negligence, recognizing the signs, and knowing your legal rights are essential steps for patients seeking justice. In this article, we’ll explore what constitutes malpractice in knee surgery, its causes, and consequences, and how patients can pursue legal action.
Knee surgery is a common orthopedic procedure aimed at relieving knee pain and restoring function. However, like any surgery, it does carry risks of complications. In some cases, these complications may be the result of medical negligence on the part of the surgeon or medical staff. If you have undergone a knee surgery like a knee replacement that has resulted in ongoing issues, you may be wondering if malpractice was involved.
What is Knee Surgery Malpractice?
Medical negligence refers to substandard care provided by a healthcare professional that results in harm or injury to the patient. For a surgeon’s actions to be considered negligent, four criteria must be met:
- Duty of care: The healthcare provider had a legal responsibility to provide appropriate care for the patient.
- Breach of duty: The provider failed to meet the standard of care expected of a competent orthopedic surgeon.
- Causation: The provider’s breach of duty directly caused harm or injury to the patient.
- Damages: The patient suffered actual harm or damages as a result of the provider’s negligence.
Establishing The Standard Of Care
Before moving to the third and fourth elements in a medical malpractice claim, we discuss defining the acceptable standard of care. This element and the third element of causation (proving the breach of duty caused your injury) are often the two most difficult elements to prove in a medical malpractice case. The health care community establishes a standard of care. Health care professionals and medical experts review the case and provide testimony regarding the generally accepted procedures and practices for physicians or medical providers given a similar set of facts. In other words, what would reasonable medical providers have done in that situation? If the expert testimony differs from what the medical provider in your case did, then your provider breached the acceptable standard of care.
Causes of Knee Surgery Malpractice
Medical negligence during knee surgery can result from a variety of factors, including:
- Inadequate training or experience: A surgeon may not have the appropriate specialized training or experience in knee procedures to properly perform the surgery.
- Fatigue or burnout: An overworked, exhausted surgeon is more prone to making mistakes during complex procedures.
- Lack of informed consent: Failure to adequately explain the risks and alternatives for a proposed knee surgery means the patient cannot provide fully informed consent.
- Improper implant sizing or placement: Errors in measuring the knee joint or positioning or fitting the implant can lead to complications.
- Damage to soft tissues: The surgeon may improperly cut, damage or fail to protect soft tissues like ligaments during the procedure.
Consequences of Knee Surgery Malpractice
The effects of malpractice during knee surgery can be severe and long-lasting, such as:
- Chronic pain and loss of mobility: Poorly performed surgery can lead to ongoing knee pain, instability, stiffness, arthritis and loss of function.
- Need for additional surgeries: Revision surgery may be required to repair damage or replace improperly fitted implants from the initial negligent surgery.
- Infection risk: Surgical errors increase the risk of developing a postoperative infection in the joint or implant.
- Permanent disability: Severe complications can leave the patient with long-term disability impairing their mobility and quality of life.
- Emotional trauma: The stress of living with chronic pain, disability and additional corrective surgeries takes a significant psychological toll.
Tennessee Medical Malpractice Attorneys Help You Recover Compensation For Your Injuries And Damages
The results of medical malpractice can be devastating for the patient and the family. For some individuals, medical malpractice results in permanent disabilities. In other cases, families lose loved ones because of medical malpractice.
The effects of knee surgery malpractice can be life-altering. Consulting with a qualified medical malpractice attorney is essential to learn about your legal options and protect your rights. An attorney can investigate what exactly went wrong and build a strong case to pursue compensation for your damages. Don’t hesitate to contact a knowledgeable lawyer if negligence during your knee surgery resulted in chronic complications – you deserve justice. With legal guidance, you can hold the responsible parties accountable and get the closure you need to move forward.