A Maryland medical malpractice jury returned its verdict in favor of an orthopedic surgeon and his medical practice on April 14, 2015, after a seven-day trial. The jury found that the defendants were not negligent in the treatment of a man who had orthopedic surgery on his left arm after which his wrist was permanently injured, according to the Maryland medical malpractice plaintiff’s lawsuit.
The Alleged Underlying Facts
On August 20, 2011, the plaintiff injured his left arm when he over-extended his elbow while trying to lift a gate. The man felt a pop and knew he had suffered some type of injury to his arm.
On August 26, 2011, the defendant orthopedic surgeon performed surgery on the man’s left arm to repair a ruptured biceps tendon. The man claimed that the defendant surgeon failed to inform him prior to surgery of the material risks of the proposed surgery.
The day after his surgery, the man alleged that he began to experience an intense, burning-like sensation that extended from his left hand through his left shoulder, along with marked numbness and tingling in his left hand and fingers.
The plaintiff returned to the defendant orthopedic surgeon five days after his surgery, at which time it was determined that he had wrist drop caused by nerve paralysis. The defendant orthopedic surgeon allegedly told the plaintiff that his condition may resolve on its own over time but also advised the plaintiff to continue with his occupational therapy, and that if the therapy did not result in improvement in a three to six week period, an EMG would be appropriate thereafter to diagnose the location and extent of the nerve injury.
The defendants alleged that the plaintiff showed improvement in his condition one week later but he failed to return for occupational therapy for five weeks. At the time the plaintiff advised the defendant orthopedic surgeon that he was changing doctors, he allegedly (according to the defendants) had shown signs of spontaneous recovery from his nerve injury, had good range of motion of his elbow, and was able to turn his hand over.
The plaintiff had an EMG performed in October 2011 at another medical practice that allegedly showed severe, chronic, and active nerve damage; a second EMG performed five months later showed only moderate improvement.
The plaintiff alleged that the defendants breached the standard of care by failing to order a neurosurgical consult and by failing to order an EMG within three to six weeks after the surgery.
The defendants alleged that the plaintiff’s failure to appear for in-office visits and the plaintiff’s transfer of care to another medical practice deprived the defendants of their ability to monitor and assess the plaintiff’s medical condition and his clinical progress, and assess the need for further diagnostic testing after September 14, 2011.
The defendants further claimed that the alleged nerve injury in the plaintiff’s left arm was far removed from the surgical site, and that the plaintiff had exploratory surgery in November 2014 that failed to find any injury to any nerve.
The plaintiff alleged that he continues to suffer excruciating pain along with the inability to use his left hand and left arm for even simple daily tasks.
Source Rose v. Maryland Orthopaedics P.A., et al., Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Case No. 386490V.
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