Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold has a filed a medical malpractice claim against The Johns Hopkins Hospital, alleging that a Johns Hopkins spine surgeon negligently advised him that he could return to playing baseball without restrictions too soon after fusion surgery on his neck.
As a result of returning to playing baseball before his spine had fully fused, he missed the remainder of the 2013 baseball season (after playing 40 games) because he had to undergo a second surgery, according to the medical malpractice claim.
The Alleged Facts
Mr. Reimold had suffered a herniated disc in his neck for which he had spinal fusion surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in June 2012. He was released by a neurosurgeon six months later to resume playing baseball without restrictions of any kind. Mr. Reimold released a statement in conjunction with the filing of his medical malpractice claim against Johns Hopkins in which he stated: “I was under the impression that everything was fused … I did my best to get back on track. I had no idea that every game I played caused me further injury because my bones weren’t fused.”
It is reported that the 31-year-old outfielder played in almost 300 games for the Baltimore Orioles from 2009 to 2013. His best season with the Baltimore Orioles was in 2009, when his season batting average was .279, with 15 home runs hit in the 104 games in which he appeared. He is now with the Norfolk Tides (the Baltimore Orioles Triple A team) after spending last season with the Toronto Blue Jays and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
A Johns Hopkins Medicine Orthopaedic Surgery publication entitled, “The Road To Recovery After Cervical Spine Surgery” states, “The most important thing to remember is the sooner you return to being active – the sooner you will be on the road to recovery, ” and further states, “Naturally, you will feel tired and weak after surgery. You will begin to feel yourself after 2 to 3 weeks and improve over the following weeks. You should tell your employer you will be out of work for approximately 8 to 12 weeks but may be able to return earlier than that … Don’t forget about your restrictions for the first 6 weeks after surgery. You need to avoid twisting and bending. You also need to avoid lifting, pushing or pulling objects greater than 5 to 10 lbs. Lifting and activity restrictions will be gradually removed as the healing process takes place. Remember to keep your spine in the neutral position and maintain good posture throughout the day.” (bold type is in the original).
A medical study published in 2011 entitled, “Outcomes of cervical and lumbar disk herniations in Major League Baseball pitchers” found that “The majority of pitchers with cervical disk herniation (8/11) returned to play at an average of 11.6 months” (the study involved 40 Major League Baseball pitchers from 1984 to 2009 with a cervical disk herniation or lumbar disk herniation – cervical disk herniation was identified in 11 pitchers, 8 of which were treated by surgery).
If you or a family member have suffered injury (or worse) that may be due to medical negligence that occurred in Baltimore or elsewhere in Maryland, you should promptly find a Baltimore medical malpractice lawyer (a Maryland medical malpractice lawyer) who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a Baltimore medical malpractice case (Maryland medical malpractice case), if appropriate.
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