Ifa doctordenies wrong-doingregarding a botched surgery, what can I do?

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Ifa doctordenies wrong-doingregarding a botched surgery, what can I do?

My son had reconstructive surgery on his feet in 2007. He had flat feet and his ankles turned in. This surgery was supposed to simply give him an arch (that is what how it was explained to me). I should have simply stuck with arch supports, but I trusted this doctor. After the surgery his feet now have a “C” shape and turn inward. It is very noticeable. He does not walk right; he cannot run well. Since the operation he complains of pain when on them for long periods, even back pain. I have brought several before and after pictures to this doctor to show the turning in his feet after the surgery and how the knees and hips are perfectly aligned. Since 2007 I have been taking him back to this doctor every year telling him his feet are not right and something has to be done. At first the doctor (podiatrist) admitted he may have “over-corrected” my son’s feet. He referred us to an orthopedic surgeon of his choice, as he said that he thought my son may have had bone defects in his legs that caused the turning. The doctor found no deformities in his legs, but also said he felt the feet were fine. Was this second doctor protecting a fellow doctor? I think maybe he was. Since this I have continued to take my son back to the original doctor telling him that his feet are not right, and that my son cannot run correctly, complains of pain, and clearly walks with his feet excessively turned in. The doctor continues to tell us that it is his knees, then hips, joints, muscles everything but the obviously curved feet. He even blamed us for not doing enough physical therapy. So I did more physical therapy (expensive), and took my son to a second opinion of my own choice in 2010. The second orthopedic surgeon (one of the best in our area) confirmed what I had felt. The turning in the feet is due to the surgery and confirmed the obvious “C” shape in the feet. He has no deformities in his legs, joints etc. Supports or special shoes will not help my son, the chances that his feet will “grow out of this” are slim to none. I sent the second opinion to the original doctor but no response. He has basically washed his hands clean of what he did to my son. I am scared to take this to court. I do not have the money to go several thousand dollars in debt and then lose but I am sick every time that I watch my son walk or run. Should I speak with a malpractice attorney? In Kootenai, ID.

Asked on January 21, 2011 under Malpractice Law, Idaho

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It would be advisable to speak with a medical malpractice attorney.  You should obtain your son's medical reports and medical bills.  The medical report from the second orthopedic surgeon will document the nature and extent of your son's injury, and will be important evidence in your malpractice claim against the podiatrist.  If the case is not settled with the podiatrist's insurance carrier, you will need to file a lawsuit for negligence against the podiatrist prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.  If your son is under 18, you will need to be appointed guardian ad litem  to sue on his behalf because a minor cannot file the lawsuit.

Your concern about the cost of litigation is understandable; however, the attorney will probably take the case on a contingency fee basis.  This means that the attorney's fee is a percentage of the amount recovered.


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