|Gorovitz & Borten, P.C.
Attorneys at Law
550 Cochituate Road, Suite 25
Tel: (781) 890-9095
|Postoperative Foot Drop
The plaintiff was a 52-year-old woman who had previously delivered
one child. She was admitted on Oct. 21, 1998, by the defendant
surgeon to the hospital to correct a prolapsed uterus address pelvic
The defendant surgeon performed a vaginal hysterectomy and a
bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy with a left sacrospinous ligament
fixation. Immediately following the three-hour procedure, in which
the plaintiff received general anesthesia, the plaintiff was
transferred from the operating room to the recovery room, also
known as the post anesthesia care unit, where she reportedly had
immediately began complaining of pain in her left buttock and left
The defendant surgeon then requested a neurological consultation
from the defendant neurologist. Following the defendant
neurologist's personal examination of the plaintiff, he documented a
weakness in her toes and various aspects of her left leg. This
finding was shared with the defendant surgeon. The plan of
management was observation anticipating spontaneous recovery.
At the time of discharge two days later, the plaintiff was still
complaining of left leg pain and left leg weakness, together with an
inability to bear weight on her left leg and numbness in her left leg.
These complaints were documented in the hospital record.
On Oct. 26 and Oct. 28, 1998, the plaintiff contacted the defendant
surgeon's office and complained of pain in her left leg and difficulty
in being able to get around. The defendant surgeon reportedly
provided verbal reassurance, but took no other active intervention
in treating the plaintiff's condition.
On Oct. 29, 1998, the defendant surgeon examined the plaintiff and
the medical record reflected complaints of a foot drop and "pain
from knee down on left knee." There was to be a follow up in two
weeks if no improvement.
On Nov. 9, 1998, the plaintiff again contacted the defendant
surgeon requesting that something be done. An MRI was ordered
because of her persistent symptoms and clear lack of improvement.
The plaintiff was examined again by the defendant neurologist in
December 1998, who wrote in his note: "But she recalls post
operatively she could not move her left leg. Pelvic ultrasound was
negative, but she could not walk on account of drop foot and she
continued taking Motrin for unreasonable pain."
The plaintiff was evaluated by another neurologist who noted the
plaintiff was suffering from "severe foot drop, barely able to
dorsiflex...marked weakness of left thigh aplextion...parethesia over
left lateral leg and dorsum of the foot to pin prick and somewhat to
touch." This neurologist's impression was "left leg weakness and
numbness without a change since its abrupt onset in October."
The plaintiff's expert was also prepared to testify that any suturing
should have been performed at a safe distance from the pudendal
vessels and sciatic nerve, and that early identification of a stitch
(suture) placed near, through or around the vital structures
traversing throughout the operative field would have required
immediate intervention to remove the non-absorbable stitch (suture)
to prevent the condition the plaintiff developed as a consequence of
the injury to the vital structures on the operative site.
The case settled against the defendant surgeon prior to the
pre-trial conference for $ 495,000.00 and a structured settlement of
If you, your child or a member of your family have been injured as a
result of a nerve injury during a surgical operation, postoperative
complication, substandard postoperative care, deficient medical
treatment or failure to be properly treated, please let Dr. Borten and
our Boston area medical malpractice attorneys at Gorovitz & Borten
evaluate your case.
For a free confidential consultation and receive a response within 24
hours (when possible), please contact us by phone, fax or e-mail
with your question or concern.
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