If you are suffering from painful or disabling nerve damage after surgery, contact an experienced Maui medical malpractice lawyer right away. Nerve damage is a serious condition, which can result in pain, loss of sensation, muscle weakness and loss of movement, and difficulty with bodily functions.
It is important to talk with an attorney about why you are suffering from surgically-induced nerve damage and whether you have the right to pursue a Hawaii medical malpractice claim. You can reach out to Matt Menzer at Menzer Law Firm in Wailuku, HI. Matt and his team have years of experience helping victims of medical torts recover compensation.
What is Nerve Damage?
When one or more nerves are damaged, the signal between the brain and nerves doesn’t work properly. It could be that a nerve was severed completely, and the brain can no longer communicate with that area of the body. When a nerve is torn or cut in half, it is known as neurotmesis.
Nerves also can be partially severed or irritated, which can lead to abnormal sensations and pain. Nerves are made up of bundles of nerve cells surrounded by a fatty insulation layer (myelin). When the myelin is damaged, it is known as neurapraxia, and when there is damage to the nerve cells, it is known as axonotmesis.
Nerve damage can happen anywhere in the body. It can be the result of a medical condition, like diabetes, compression, like a herniated disc, or a traumatic accident, like severe burns. Nerve damage also can be the result of negligence during surgery.
Symptoms of Nerve Damage
The most common signs of nerve damage after surgery include:
- Tingling sensation
- Burning sensation
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle atrophy
- Lack of bowel and bladder control
- Sexual dysfunction
Nerve Damage After Surgery Statistics
According to Dr. Chris Centeno, between 1 in 200 and 1 in 50 patients experience permanent nerve damage after surgery. Researchers from Harvard Medical School stated about 10-40 percent of patients experience chronic neuropathic pain after surgery. Nerve damage can commonly occur as a result of hip replacement, a low back fusion, shoulder replacement, limb amputation, thoracotomy, mastectomy, and hernia repair procedures.
Is Nerve Damage Because of Malpractice?
It is important to distinguish between a known risk of surgery and malpractice. All surgeries and other medical procedures have potential complications, many of which cannot be avoided with due care alone. Whether the complications occur can depend on several factors, including your medical history and your body’s response to the procedure.
Nerve damage, whether temporary or permanent, is a known risk of many surgeries. For example, research by the Mayo Clinic found post-surgical neuropathy can be the result of an autoimmune response—the body attacks the nerves. When it is a possible complication, your doctor should have warned you about it beforehand as part of obtaining your informed consent.
But nerve damage can be because of something that went wrong during your surgery. A doctor’s carelessness could result in partially or fully severing a nerve. Unfortunately, surgical errors are a common form of malpractice in the U.S.
Nerve damage also can happen because of anesthesia errors. An anesthesiologist or other doctor who has to administer anesthesia to a specific area of the body with a syringe might hit or damage a nearby nerve. Some anesthesia requires a spinal injection. If something goes wrong, it could impact the spine and a large portion of the body.
Whether or not your surgeon or another physician was negligent depends on whether their actions were what a reasonably careful doctor in the same area of medicine would do under similar circumstances.
Investigate the Cause of Your Nerve Damage
When you are suffering from permanent nerve damage after surgery, it is important to determine the underlying cause of the injury. It can help to talk with an experienced Maui medical malpractice attorney who can obtain the proper consultation with a medical expert.
You benefit from having an experienced and respected physician review your records and your surgeon’s conduct. They can offer a professional opinion on whether your surgeon’s actions were within the standard of care or not.
If it is a medical professional’s opinion that you are the victim of medical negligence, then Menzer Law Firm can file a claim on your behalf with the Medical Inquiry and Conciliation Panel at the State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. This claim is an important and required step in the Hawaii medical malpractice claim process. If we can’t resolve your claim through that process, then we can file a medical malpractice lawsuit and have your claim decided by a judge or a jury in court.
Do You Have Questions About Nerve Damage After Surgery?
If you or a loved one are suffering from nerve damage after undergoing surgery, and you fear it is because of medical malpractice, talk with Matt Menzer. After decades of successfully handling medical negligence claims, he has the knowledge and experience you need to determine if you have a good claim for compensation. You can reach Matt and his team at (808) 400-3726 or through the online form.