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Q&A: Ulnar Nerve Damage

Is Ulnar Nerve Damage After Hip Replacement Surgery Medical Malpractice?

A: These cases must be examined on an individual basis as nerve damage can result even in the absence of negligence. Therefore, solid evidence of negligence is needed to prosecute these types of cases. In addition, we do not recommend pursuing a lawsuit involving ulnar damage or nerve palsy that is expected to clear up on its own.

Examples of the type of evidence that could indicate negligence include:

  • Who positioned the patient on the table for surgery?
  • What position was the patient put in?
  • Was padding used? If so, what kind, where and for how long?
  • Were arm boards used? If so, for how long?
  • Were restraints used? If so, what kind, where and for how long?
  • How long did the surgery last?
  • How long was the patient under anesthesia?
  • Did any unusual events occur during the operation?

Tilted body positions during surgery have been found to increase risk for ulnar neuropathy on the contralateral side because this position turns the arm toward the body and increases the likelihood that the ulnar nerve will suffer crush damage.


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