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ARTICLE ID 195137

DEFENDANT’S – MEDICAL MALPRACTICE – ORTHOPEDICS – DEFENDANT ORTHOPEDIST FAILS TO DIAGNOSE AND TREAT PERIPROSTHETIC INFECTION IN PLAINTIFF WHO HAD JUST UNDERGONE TOTAL KNEE ARTHROPLASTY PERFORMED BY DEFENDANT

Lancaster County, PA

The plaintiff, in this medical malpractice action, alleged that following a total knee replacement performed by the defendant she developed complaints consistent with an infection that the defendant failed to adequately address. Due to this failure, the plaintiff was eventually required to undergo removal of the prosthetic, and had to endure another procedure to implant a new prosthetic. The defendant argued that the plaintiff’s concerns were properly addressed, and that the plaintiff was treated in accordance with all medical standards.

On March 16, ________, the female plaintiff underwent a total knee replacement performed by the defendant, who was an established patient at the time, and the procedure was uneventful. On July 29, ________, the plaintiff called the defendant complaining of knee pain and swelling, and reporting that the knee was hot to the touch. The defendant advised the plaintiff that she was experiencing normal post-operative symptoms that are typical for up to a year. The plaintiff called the defendant in August and again complained of pain. The defendant ordered blood work and an x-ray which the defendant interpreted as normal, aside from a few elevated levels which indicate inflammation somewhere in the body. The defendant ordered a bone scan for early September, and the plaintiff canceled the bone scan when the defendant reported that the blood work was fine, she told the defendant she was feeling much better anyway. In November of ________, the plaintiff called the defendant again complaining of pain, and the bone scan was reordered. The scan was normal, and the defendant then referred the plaintiff to a neurologist for pain. In March of ________, the plaintiff sought a second opinion from a nonparty orthopedist who immediately diagnosed the plaintiff with an infection of the knee based on the August ________ blood work. This doctor performed surgery to remove the prosthetic due to infection. The plaintiff maintained that the defendant was negligent in failing to appreciate the plaintiff’s complaints of pain and swelling as early as July 29, ________, failing to appreciate the plaintiff’s abnormal blood work from August of ________, failing to communicate to the plaintiff the results of the blood work, failing to diagnose the plaintiff’s infection, and delaying the plaintiff’s recovery from total knee replacement. The plaintiff maintained that the defendant’s negligence caused her to suffer permanent damage to the knee, left knee pain and swelling, deterioration of the bone of the knee, loss of mobility, and depression. The defendant denied all allegations of liability, and argued that the plaintiff was treated in accordance with all standards. Further, the defendant maintained that the plaintiff’s symptoms improved from the date of surgery to September, when the plaintiff canceled the bone scan appointment because she felt much improved. The defendant acted properly based on the clinical presentation of the plaintiff.The jury found no negligence on the part of the defendant.

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