Failed Back Surgery and Tort Law: The Facts

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If you are among the millions of Americans suffering with chronic back pain, you may have considered surgery in the past. Unfortunately, back surgery is not always successful and the outcome can be worse than the initial problem.

Failed Back Surgery Syndrome (FBSS) is a term used to describe this common conclusion, which leaves patients even more desperate for a solution. If you suffer from this condition or have considered back surgery, here are a few things that you should know:

    • Nearly five hundred thousand back surgeries will be performed this year. Of those, forty percent are likely to have outcomes that fall short of the patients’ expectations.
    • There are a number of ways in which a back surgery can fail, including a misdiagnosis, improper procedure leading to further complication, a surgical error causing unrelated damage, or a poor after-care program.
    • Unfortunately for the patient, the medical professionals in this country are very careful to protect themselves and back surgeons will make no definite guarantees that a back surgery will be successful. Thus, if the doctor does what has been agreed to and it fails to correct the issue, then there is very little legal action that can be taken.
    • Medical malpractice is said to have been committed only if the surgeon or other medical professional failed to act at or above the acceptable standard of care.

While not all cases justify a lawsuit, it may be possible to sue the medical providers and cover some of the cost related to the FBSS, if there is found to be examples of inadequate care at some point during the surgical process. This might include improper anesthesia administration, surgical errors while on the table, the doctor taking unnecessary risks during the surgery, or a poorly designed after care program.

The best thing that you can do, if you suffer with FBSS, is to speak to an experienced attorney to determine if your case fits within the definition of medical malpractice.