5 things to know about medical malpractice after spine surgery incidental durotomy

Written by Laura Dyrda | June 19, 2018 | Print  |

A new study published in Spine examines medical malpractice claims after incidental durotomy due to spine surgery.


The study examined 48 malpractice cases related to dural tears during spinal surgery and found:

1. Most, 56.3 percent of cases, ruled in favor of the physicians and 87.6 percent of the cases alleged neurological deficits.

2. When the case didn't include neurological sequelae, 83.3 percent of the time the outcome ruled in favor of the physician.

3. Patients required additional surgery in 56.3 percent of the cases and in 43.8 percent of the cases there was a delay in the diagnosis or treatment of durotomy. Additionally, patients alleged improper durotomy repair for 23 percent of the cases.

4. The plaintiffs were more likely to have a favorable outcome in cases with a delay in diagnosis or treatment and improper durotomy repair technique. In 62 percent of the cases with a delay in diagnosis or treatment and in 72.7 percent of the cases involving improper repair, the plaintiff had a favorable outcome.

On the other hand, when there wasn't a delay in diagnosis or treatment and surgeons used proper durotomy repair technique, 29.6 percent and 35.1 percent of cases were found in favor of the plaintiff, respectively.

5. On average, plaintiffs were awarded $2.7 million when there was a case involving payments.

More articles on spine surgery:
The 2 adverse events spine surgeons consider acceptable after ACDF
Dr. Mark McFarland performs spine surgery with SpineFrontier LES technology & NanoFuse Biologics: 4 highlights
Trial begins for Dr. Atiq Durrani without him: 5 things to know about the fugitive spine surgeon's case

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