What are our rights if my son had back surgery on a disc at age 17 years old but he is in worse pain than before?.

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What are our rights if my son had back surgery on a disc at age 17 years old but he is in worse pain than before?.

We tried everything – physical therapy, pain managment, chiropractor, steroid shot, etc. He is depressed and can’t work from the pain. Do I have a legit lawsuit? I really don’t think the surgery was necessary now that I look back. The pain is in his back and leg. His leg sometimes give out from under him. The pain managment doctor said most of his pain is from scar tissue from the surgery. Also, he said that the steroid shots were the last thing to do for the pain. They will not give pain meds because he is so young. He cant take anti imflamatories because they have caused bleeding ulcers 2 different times. Muscle relaxers and all the other meds to help with pain did not work.

Asked on June 24, 2015 under Malpractice Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

IF the recommendation to have surgery was incorrect, or the surgery was done improperly (e.g. sloppily), then there may have been malpractice and you may have a case against the surgeon and/or hospital/clinic for additional medical costs (current and projected future), lost wages or lost future earning potential (if your son can't work, or can't work as much), and possibly "pain and suffering" for the disability and life impairment.

The fact that the sugery has worked out badly for your son, however, by itself does not make this malpractice. The law understands and accepts that sometimes, no matter what the doctor does or how skillful he is, the patient suffers a bad outcome. The issue is whether the recommendation to have surgery was in line with then-accepted standards of medical care, and/or whether the surgery was performed in line with those standards. If it was--if the doctor, etc. did what would be expected of him/her--there would be no liability, even though the surgery turned out badly for your son. But if most reasonable doctors would not have recommended surgery in this case, or if the surgery was conducted sloppily, carelessly, or negligently, then there likely would be malpractice. You and your son are advised to consult in detail with a medical malpractice attorney to evaluate whether you have a case, how strong it might be, what it might be worth, and what it would cost you to pursue it.


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