Sommers Schwartz attorney Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller secured a confidential settlement on behalf of a 61-year-old man who claimed the defendant neurosurgeon failed to perform the appropriate surgery to provide adequate spinal decompression and stabilization. According to the allegations, the plaintiff presented to the emergency room complaining of sharp, stabbing back pain radiating to his hips and thighs, for which he was given a pain injection and sent home. He returned to the ER five days later with worsening pain, as was sent for an MRI that revealed severe spinal canal stenosis and an acute L4 fracture with disc herniation of L3, and mass effect on the cauda equina. No interventions were taken for two days until the neurosurgeon performed an L4 right laminectomy with placement of a pedicle screw and posterolateral fusion at L3-L5. Four days post-op, the plaintiff continued to experience pain, tingling sensation, and muscle weakness, and another MRI showed continuing significant spinal cord stenosis at L3-4 and L4-5 and evidence of a serohematoma. Over the next eight days, the plaintiff underwent a bilateral L4 laminectomy and L3 decompression. The lawsuit claimed that because the defendants failed to recognize that the plaintiff was at high risk for developing cauda equina syndrome and timely perform the appropriate surgery following the plaintiff’s first visit to the ER, he now suffers from permanent lower extremity paralysis, constant nerve pain, limited mobility and ambulation, and daily self-catheterization.
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