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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Northeastern nevada
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    3

    Default Open Release Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    My question involves medical malpractice in the state of: Nevada

    Hello. This is my first ever post on this forum. My question involves possible medical malpractice involving Open release carpal tunnel surgery I had in June of 2009.

    I had open release carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand in June of 2009. The Neurologist who completed my surgery is renowned for being a very competent spine surgeon. He had earlier completed an anterior cervical fusion to remove two bone spurs in my spine. I had no doubts that when he recommended open release carpal tunnel surgery, that I was doing this for the right reasons.

    My right hand had been bothering me for the previous 6 months prior to the surgery with minor & moderate numbness & tingling. I did not have too much pain. A nerve conduction test verified my nerves in my right hand were impinged.
    My complaint with this neurologist centers on post surgery care. The only instructions were no lifting of more than 10lbs with my right hand for two weeks after the surgery. That was the extent of my post surgery instructions.

    The surgery was completed & I did not notice any difference in my right hand.
    The only thing I really noticed was the area around where the incision was made was painful & the mild to moderate pain in this area did not subside. I continually wore a restrictive right hand brace & kept it on for months after the surgery.

    I saw my Neurologist three times for post surgery visits. I complained that the continual numbness & tingling were still present. After the second visit I was requested to do another nerve conduction test. The nerve conduction test only showed a very slight improvement over my pre-surgery nerve conduction test.
    An example of what I have to go through, was two days ago I played baseball with my son & after only hitting one pitch, my right hand went completely numb & I could not even open a pill bottle until 12 hours later. My right palm was really painful.

    I have switched to a Orthopedic Surgeon for my present care. I was going to physical therapy, which lessened the incision scar tissue. I did not notice any improvement in the numbness or tingling.
    Right now, I still have continual numbness & mild to moderate tingling in my right hand. If I do anything stressful at all such as using a baseball bat, hammer, etc, I am pretty much guaranteed to get mild to severe pain in my right palm, thumb, & pain above the top digit in my thumb, index & middle finger.

    I am a sworn police offier who is currently on medical light duty / my police officer powers have been taken away from me. I have been unable to complete defensive tactics training, firearms training & impact weapons training. I am very concerned I am going to lose my job.

    My question is do I have any grounds for medical malpractice against the operating neurologist? I believe the post surgery care I received was very poor. I was not told to get physical therapy or to take off my right hand brace at the appropriate time.

    I am now facing a second open release carpal tunnel surgery with no guarantees of any improvement. I do not know if the Neurologist might have acicdently cut other nerves when he completed the surgery or if due to continually wearing the restrictive brace, this impeded healing in my wrist / right hand.
    Any qualified comments would be appreciated. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Open Release Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    My question is do I have any grounds for medical malpractice against the operating neurologist?
    do you have any support the doctor provided a level of care below the accepted standards of care?

    In other words, what proof do you have that he did anything wrong and it caused your problem? Anything to suggest, let alone prove, he was negligent and this is not simply a case of you have post op problems that are not unheard of for this type of surgery?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northeastern nevada
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Open Release Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    You are absolutely correct. I have no proof other than the Neurologist did not take any action other than ordering another nerve conduction test during the three post surgery visits.

    The orthopedic physician was critical of allowing me to wear the restrictive hand brace for a period of time after the surgery. If the neurologist would have told me to stop wearing the brace & obtain physical therapy, I would have. I just felt I was on my own. I should have obtained a second opinion much sooner when my right hand was not healing / responding to the surgery. Thanks for your response.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Open Release Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    yes, you probably should have spoken up or spoken to another doctor sooner. If there is no permanent injury, you don't have much of a claim. Yes, it has been painful longer than it should have been but that is about it.

    You will have to wait until the second surgery and see what comes of that.

    and just a note: nerve damage can take a long time to heal. Up to 2 years is not considered excessive. If your nerves had been seriously impinged for some time, just healing from that could take considerable time, even if everything in the treatment was perfect. Also, surgery itself causes swelling which could cause impingement itself for a relatively short time after surgery.

    So, you are in a place of getting the further treatment and looking at the results and discoveries from that before you can make much of a determination. Hopefully your new doctor will be open with you about anything he might see during the surgery.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Northeastern nevada
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Open Release Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    yes, you probably should have spoken up or spoken to another doctor sooner. If there is no permanent injury, you don't have much of a claim. Yes, it has been painful longer than it should have been but that is about it.

    You will have to wait until the second surgery and see what comes of that.

    and just a note: nerve damage can take a long time to heal. Up to 2 years is not considered excessive. If your nerves had been seriously impinged for some time, just healing from that could take considerable time, even if everything in the treatment was perfect. Also, surgery itself causes swelling which could cause impingement itself for a relatively short time after surgery.

    So, you are in a place of getting the further treatment and looking at the results and discoveries from that before you can make much of a determination. Hopefully your new doctor will be open with you about anything he might see during the surgery.
    Thank you for the excellent advise. I was unaware the nerve damage could take up to two years to heal. Best Regards.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Open Release Carpal Tunnel Surgery

    Quote Quoting alpine
    View Post
    Thank you for the excellent advise. I was unaware the nerve damage could take up to two years to heal. Best Regards.
    It can take over 2 years. If there was permanent damage before/during the surgery it may never heal.

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