Can You Sue for Failed Back Surgery?

Unfortunately, for the millions of back pain sufferers in this country and beyond, there seems to be no definitive cure and even the costly surgeries used to correct many of the defects associated with back pain have unusually high failure rates.

In fact, failed back surgery is so common that a term has been created to describe the complaints of individuals suffering from post-surgical difficulties.  While Failed Back Surgery Syndrome is not technically a “syndrome,” it is very common and many people are beginning to ask questions about taking the surgeons to court after their procedures failed to correct the problems the patient initially complained of.

There are approximately 500,000 back surgeries performed each year and as many as 40 percent of those fail to meet the patients’ expectations.  This can be a result of a failure to correct the initial problem or a result of damage done during the surgery.  However, proving that the surgeon did not fulfill his duties and, therefore, should be held accountable for the pain levels post-op is very difficult.

The surgeon is not legally required to correct the problem.  Instead, the law says that medical malpractice only occurs when the surgeon’s treatment falls below the acceptable standard of care.  Nevertheless, if the doctor fails to properly diagnose the problem or the patient receives inadequate care after the procedure, Failed Back Surgery Syndrome can result and medical malpractice may be deemed the cause.

Determining if the medical professional is at fault or if the failed surgery was simply a result of the nature of the patient’s condition, due to the bone’s inability to fuse correctly, or for some other unforeseen reason, is not a simple task.  For this reason, it is always advisable that the patient speak to a knowledgeable attorney regarding the circumstances of the operation and its aftermath.

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