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Spinal Surgery

What are the common types of spinal surgery?

The most commonly performed spinal operations are;-

  • Laminectomy – This is surgery to remove a part of the spine called the lamina. The spinal surgeon performs this surgery to relieve a chronic condition called ‘nerve root compression’. A compressed nerve root can cause severe pain in the legs and back. A segment of the lamina is removed to relieve this nerve pressure.
  • Discectomy – This operation is performed to remove a piece of a disc which is putting pressure on a nerve.
  • Spinal fusion – A spinal fusion is performed to permanently fuse two or more vertebrae together. The purpose of the procedure is to stabilise the spine. During the operation small pieces of bone will be taken from the patient’s hip or pelvis and then grafted between the bones (vertebrae) in the spine. The surgeon will use metalwork to achieve a stable fusion – often they will use a combination of wires, rods, screws or metal cages or metal plates. Different surgeons have different favourite techniques.

What can go wrong?

Complications of spinal surgery that we often see are:

  • Failing to obtain informed consent as to the risks of surgery
  • Surgical errors during the procedure – errors with drills or metalwork causing spinal nerve injuries
  • Poor intraoperative positioning leading to nerve damage
  • Wrong level surgery – operating at the wrong level due to poor pre-operative planning
  • Metalwork failures

Case studies

Case study 1 – Discectomy leading to nerve injury

Spinal surgery was performed negligently using the wrong tools. This led to an obvious risk of a nerve root injury which then resulted. The surgeon was using an outdated technique which could no longer supported by the medical profession. Damages awarded – £200,000

Case study 2 – Spinal fusion leads to nerve injury

The patient underwent a spinal fusion using a metal cage and screws. Following the procedure he suffered with severe pain and mobility problems. His case was eventually reviewed by the spinal team who noted that a metal screw was compressing a nerve. The patient underwent further surgery but was left with a permanent nerve injury which would affect his ability to work – the case settled out of court for £150,000.

How can Hodge Jones Allen help?

Our highly experienced team of specialist clinical negligence lawyers are here to assist and to advise. They will advise you comprehensively about the merits of your claim, funding and ensure that you and your family get the best possible results.

The majority of our cases are funded by way of a conditional fee agreement, more commonly known as a no win no fee agreement. This means there is no financial risk to you.

Our Medical Negligence Solicitors are backed by four decades of experience. Our legal practice and team of London Solicitors have a strong track record of achieving favourable client outcomes. For expert legal advice use our contact form or call us on 0800 437 0322 today.

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