Spine Implants May Cause More Harm Than Good

Spine stimulation therapy is gradually becoming a popular medical method for relieving chronic pain in the spinal cord.

spine implant malpracticeWhile some patients may benefit from spine stimulation therapy, others may suffer harmful effects which can be as serious as permanent paralysis. St. Louis medical malpractice attorneys analyze the effects of these implants and who can be held liable in case the patient is paralyzed as a result of the treatment.

Complications of Spine Stimulation Therapy

Spine stimulation devices are implanted close to the spinal cord. It sends out an electric current into extension wires using a pulse generator. The extension wires are positioned in the spine, and the electric current diverts the attention of the brain from recognizing pain signals. The procedure normally requires an overnight stay, and the patient can go home after the implant. However, in some patients, the implant can cause serious complications such as motor weakness, or permanent or partial paralysis.

Many of these complications are caused by injuries to the spinal cord. Quite often, the electrical conductors, which are inserted in the epidural space in the lower spine compress or punctures the spinal cord and may cause paralysis. The database of the FDA reveals that paralysis caused by spinal simulators affected nearly sixty patients in 2013, which is higher than the fifty patients affected by the device in 2012.

Who Is Liable for the Injury?

The lack of awareness about the risk associated with surgeries of the spinal cord could be an important reason behind the problem. It may also be caused by the lack of suitable techniques for avoiding dangerous areas near the spine. St. Louis medical malpractice attorneys feel that inadequate training and absence of surgical standards are the main reasons behind this. Since spinal stimulation procedures are performed by different specialists, including neurosurgeons, anesthesiologists, and orthopedic spine surgeons, no single medical society can provide the guidelines that can be used for these procedures.

Normally, it is the skill and experience of the doctor that determines the outcome of a surgery, and it is especially true in case of spinal stimulation implants due the complicated nature of the procedure. A Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center doctor noted that many doctors are performing the surgery even though they are unfamiliar with the risks associated with the procedure, because it appears deceptively uncomplicated and easy.

Manufacturers Liability

Manufacturers have maintained that they are constantly monitoring negative reports about the device, and that they regularly revise product labels to show the risks associated with the procedure. Among the risks associated with the procedure is the potential scarring around the electrodes, which can result in nerve damage. Around 30 percent of patients experience problems within a year after stimulators are implanted. Around 25 percent of patients go through additional surgeries to deal with the negative consequences.

Since many spine stimulator paralysis cases are mainly caused because of the negligence of insufficiently-trained doctors, a victim may wish to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you have experienced serious injuries because of the use of a spine stimulator, consult a St. Louis medical malpractice lawyer immediately.

Call (314) 588-7200 to schedule a Free Consultation.

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