Problems with Orthopedic Procedures

It was reported in today's New York Times that Mariano Rivera developed a blood clot in his leg following arthroscopic repair of his right knee. While not all blood clots are the result of improper care, problems can arise from orthopedic procedures that are not properly performed. Orthopedic procedures, including hip replacements and knee replacements, can result in severe infection, damage to the bone, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). In some cases, a DVT - the presence of one of more blood clots that partially or completely block a vein - can result in a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.

Over the years at Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, we have had experience in dealing with problems associated with orthopedic procedures. Some cases that come to mind include a man whose hip joint had to be removed because of infection and improper preparation; a man whose shoulder required replacement because an arthroscopic procedure was done poorly; and a boy whose arm had to be amputated because a fracture was not properly set. We have represented individuals who have developed life-threatening blood clots whose origins are similar to the blood clot from which Mariano Rivera suffers. These are medical problems about which one should be on guard when undergoing orthopedic procedures. Total Knee Replacement article

The Connecticut medical malpractice attorneys at Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder represent people injured due to the negligence of doctors, nurses, technicians, and other health care providers across Connecticut. If you have been injured due to the negligence of a medical professional, send us an email or give us a call at 203-583-8634.

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To find a satisfactory way of replacing the knee joint has proven difficult. It is not the simple joint it might seem. There is in fact a very complicated sequence of movements of hinge, slide and rotation and it has proven difficult to find mechanical means to cope with this.

The earlier methods were to resurface the joint with biological materials, and they didn’t stand up to wear. Then simple hinged joints were tried, and they broke or worked loose. Progressively the problems were revealed by experience and the currently employed prostheses are so much more satisfactory that the operation is performed in the United States on about 130,000 knees each year and the longest duration available shows 94% satisfaction 15 years after the operation. But there are problems that have occurred and will occur again. Most doctors will agree that surgical replacement of a joint is a last resort, to be undertaken when all other measures have proven insufficient to overcome a real and increasingly severe problem.

In general, the reasons to undergo an orthopaedic operation are: pain and loss of function which significantly interferes with the enjoyment of life, and which cannot be controlled or reversed by non-operative methods such as medication and different forms of therapy. Where the knee is concerned, this is particularly likely to mean restriction of physical activity due to pain, and if more severe, intolerable pain even at rest.

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