What to do about potential malpractice?

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What to do about potential malpractice?

My husband had back surgery almost a year ago. He is 24 years old and had 3 herniated discs, spinal stenosis (lateral and central), degenerative disc disease and arthritis. He is an army ranger so his job is very physically demanding. He had 3 discs removed and 4 fused together. In subsequent check-ups, he was told it was fused solid and doing well. Not long after (about 2 months ago), they found that 1 of his screws had broken. His doctor was not concerned as he said the bone was fused well. Fast forward to today, another screw has broken. An army doctor (different doctor) found it through an X-ray that was given due to increasing returning pain. Is there cause for concern for potential malpractice?

Asked on August 14, 2013 under Malpractice Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

This may be malpractice, but there is  no way to tell from what you write. Malpractice is not simply when a patient has a bad outcome, since sometimes, regardless of how good the medical care is, the patient does poorly. Malpractice is if the doctor or other health-care provider rendered care that did not meet currently accepted standards of care, such as due to negligence (unreasonable carelessness). If your husband's surgeon had been careless in some way--such as performing the procedure badly; using the wrong screws; performing the wrong procedure (i.e. something else should have been done), then this may be malpractice; otherwise not.  You may need an examination by a new doctor, one not connected with the army (if the first doctor was an army doctor) to examine your husband and render an opinion as to whether your husband was treated properly or not.


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