Medical Malpractice/TKR, Revision, and Staph
TKR done and immediately noticed it slipping out of place. Told PT was needed to strengthen the leg. Continually complained to dr about the slipping and after a week dr did x-Ray. X-Ray revealed misalignment--medial side had less space than the lateral side (7mm difference). Dr thought PT would help the issue but after two weeks stated revision to ligaments was necessary. Revision surgery completed one month later after the TKR. The instability issue was corrected; however, the pain and swelling was not normal from previous two TKR's on other leg. I spoke with dr and PT regarding this and was told give it time. Three and a half weeks after revision surgery I called dr to complain about swelling and pain; 60 cc's drained. I was called two days later and informed emergency surgery was required as two forms of staph were present. Dr said only the plastic parts needed to be replaced. In addition, I had gortex in this knee from a previous ACL surgery but I assumed dr knew what he was doing. I was placed on 6 weeks of IV antibiotics thru PICC. I was informed all was well. A month after the swap of the plastic knee parts, I start running a fever, knee enlarged and in tremendous pain. Emergency room dr drained the knee and it was evident upon seeing the fluid the staph infection was present. I then had the whole knee replacement removed, to include the gortex debris left behind from the ACL surgery done many years ago. A cement spacer was put in with the antibiotics. Dr performing the surgery said there was absolutely no way of the previous dr eradicating the staph infection without getting to the source of the infection which was housed all in the gortex debris. Assume we just need the dr performing this TKR removal to state his facts. I am now preparing for the knee replacement to be placed back in after being out for eight weeks and receiving antibiotic treatments. My teeth have turned brown from the antibiotics. I have not been able to step or bend this leg and the bills are ridiculous. I would say this is not the level of care a patient should receive. Negligent to not remove the gortex.
Sorry but your situation is just too involved for me to give a useful answer. Any lawyer hearing this story would need the entire medical chart reviewed by an outside ortho surgeon to see if a specific act of negligence could be identified. Very likely that would not be possible because bad results are not alone evidence of malpractice. Need an expert to say "my God, that surgeon really screwed up" or something like that. The staph is an endemic problem in hospitals and doesn't mean there was malpractice. Good luck