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Tennessee Spinal Fusion Lawsuits and Settlements

Am I eligible for compensation due to my spinal fusion complications?

A serious injury to your spine can incapacitate you for weeks, months or years. It causes difficulty with moving or completing simple tasks, and you may be unable to work while recovering. Some spinal injuries need cervical fusion, which limits your mobility for life.

If you have suffered a spinal injury caused by another party’s negligence in a serious accident, you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss a potential spinal fusion lawsuit.

What is a spinal fusion?

When you experience a severe spinal injury, your options may be limited to getting a spinal fusion. Spinal fusion is a procedure that joins certain spinal bones to minimize the damage. For instance, a ruptured disc that goes untreated may cause additional damage that can’t be fixed. A spinal fusion will use a bone graft, held together with metal plates or screws to keep the area immobilized. This prevents further damage from slipping.

Spinal fusion may also be necessary for a fracture. A fracture that is left untreated may cause paralysis. Joining the vertebrae in a spinal fusion can minimize the friction between the vertebrae. Surgeons use this as a preventative and stabilizing procedure, which may promote new bone growth. In addition, spinal fusion may be an alternative to address severe misalignment due to scoliosis or other spinal conditions.

In general, spinal fusion surgery is used for injured parties who have experienced severe spinal damage. Frequently, this type of damage happens in car accidents when a driver or passenger suffers ruptured discs or wounds to their spine. A spine is strong, but being hit by a car that weighs several thousand pounds traveling at high speed may result in irreparable damage like cracked vertebrae, fractures and damaged discs.

History of spinal fusion

While most technological advancements surrounding spinal fusion have occurred in the last 50 years, the first attempt at surgical correction of the spine dates back to 1839. In the 1880s, U.S. surgeon Dr. Lewis Sayre was very influential, developing procedures to address scoliosis.

The 1900s saw many advancements in Europe, the United States and Mexico. In 1984, Dr. Jean Dubousset and Dr. Yves Cotrel of France designed the multiple hook and contoured rod system that paved the way for spinal fusion devices used in clinical practice today.

Spinal fusion injuries, complications and risks

However, spinal fusion may cause problems afterward if not done correctly. While your spine may be stabilized and not at risk for collapsing or creating intense pain, you may experience negative side effects, such as decreased strength, lack of neck mobility, and continuing pain throughout your body. Other risks include additional spinal cord damage, rejection of the bone graft or nerve damage. These risks are aggravated by how the surgeon performs that cervical fusion surgery. The incision may take longer to heal and become infected, depending on the site.

When you have spinal fusion surgery, you may be at risk for complications and additional injuries. Some medical devices designed and manufactured for spinal fusions have been found to be defective. These complications can be severe and include:

  • Chronic pain
  • Defective or broken spinal implants
  • Incomplete spinal fusion
  • Swelling (especially in the neck)
  • Blood clots
  • Infection
  • Nerve damage
  • Sexual dysfunction

Value of spinal fusion car accident settlements

If you have suffered a severe spinal injury in a car accident, a malfunctioned product, accident at work or medical malpractice, you may opt to pursue a spinal fusion lawsuit and seek compensation for the damage. However, it is important to remember that each case is unique, and spinal fusion lawsuit settlements will vary greatly. An experienced attorney will be able to give you more information and evaluate your individual situation.

Many factors influence the value of a spinal fusion lawsuit settlement. These factors include whether the injury was caused by the gross negligence of another party and if you sustained an additional injury. Your age may also influence the value of a spinal fusion lawsuit settlement. In the past, spinal fusion settlements have ranged on average between $250,000 to $400,000, although some may be much higher.

There is no sure way to determine the value of your case with a high degree of accuracy without an in-depth case review. Each case is individual and depends on many factors. You may consult with an experienced attorney who can discuss similar cases, verdicts and settlements to give you an estimate. This information can be a solid benchmark to help you determine whether you want to pursue a spinal injury lawsuit.

If you sustained a spinal injury in Tennessee, contact the experienced attorneys at Gilreath & Associates today. Contact us now for your free consultation.

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