FOCUS

Arthroscopic knee surgery resulting in unrecognized popliteal artery injury.  A medical negligence case requiring Orthopedic Surgery medical expert witness case review.

BACKGROUND

Any orthopedic surgical procedure can result in damage to adjacent structures such as tendons, arteries, and nerves. The mere occurrence of damage is not de facto proof of negligence, and only a Board-Certified ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY expert can determine whether such damage resulted from medical negligence.

CASE

A 40-year-old man underwent a routine arthroscopic knee surgery at an outpatient surgical center. The surgeon had difficulty advancing the trocar into the posterior compartment and believed that he may have perforated the synovium. Immediately following surgery, the surgeon noted swelling in the popliteal area yet still discharged the patient without any further observation or testing. By the following day, the patient had severe pain and functional loss in the extremity. He underwent emergency surgery which revealed a laceration of the popliteal artery. Despite surgery, he continued to suffer pain and partial functional loss.

ELITE’S ROLE

Our internal team of physicians and nurses worked to identify an experienced Professor of ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY who could serve as an expert witness and also meet a critical deadline to produce an affidavit of merit within 10 days.

THE MEDICAL EXPERTS

Our Senior Case Strategist secured a leading Professor of ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY with a 28-page Curriculum Vitae including multiple publications on arthroscopic knee surgery. The expert had performed thousands of arthroscopic procedures and was knowledgeable about the risks and avoidance of popliteal artery injury.

OUTCOME

The ORTHOPEDIC expert witness gave a strong opinion regarding breach of the standard of care and failure to properly monitor for a suspected vascular complications. He also reviewed the pathology report and confirmed tissue indicative of violating the joint capsule. The ORTHOPEDIC SURGERY expert’s opinion resulted in an early settlement in the case.

Contact ELITE today to find an orthopedic surgery expert for your medical negligence case.

E-CASE STUDIES are brief clinical vignettes based upon actual cases handled by ELITE. Identifying information has been redacted or altered to protect case confidentiality.

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