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When surgery doesn't turn out as expected because of human error

There's no denying the fact that many people in New York benefit from surgery when it contributes to improvements with mobility, pain management and overall quality of life. However, there are times when certain issues or signs of a problem are overlooked. An article in the journal Arthroplasty Today discusses a few situations involving patients who had a total knee arthroplasty, or TKA, a procedure involving the removal of damaged bone and cartilage and the insertion of an artificial knee joint.

The surgical errors pertaining to the TKA patients involved the popliteal artery in the knee and back of the leg. With both cases, a special type of ultrasound detected overlooked damage in the popliteal area. In one instance, the patient reported pain shortly after surgery, and the problem was detected and corrected. In the other instance, the patient was misdiagnosed even when the image test was performed. A mass and three tears were discovered when she was rushed to the hospital; she had surgery to remove fresh blood clots.

While not all unexpected surgical complications can be prevented, some patients benefit from doing their own research into their procedure and seeking a second opinion. Reading surgical consent forms before signing anything is a common recommendation as is firmly but respectfully discussing post-surgery discomfort that doesn't seem right. In other instances, patients benefit from exploring additional non-surgical options before committing to surgery.

Because it's not always easy for patients or loved ones to recognize possible signs of negligence due to human error, it may be helpful to seek assistance from a medical malpractice attorney. A lawyer may be able to secure footage of the surgery or review the surgeon's history of performing the same procedure on other patients. If human error is discovered, patients might be entitled to compensation for added medical expenses, lost wages and any pain experienced.

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