My lateral femoral cutaneous nerve was damaged during my hysterectomy. Is this the surgeon’s fault?
My right lateral femoral cutaneous nerve was damaged during my hysterectomy. I am experiencing much pain now and it’s so difficult to walk that I can’t work in my sales position any more. My follow up exams found that my nerve is not severed. However, my EMG was quite abnormal. Is this the surgeon’s fault?
A:If your injury was caused by what are called Bookwalter retractors, then your injury is your doctor’s fault. If not, then no. For example, abscesses and hematomas can injure the femoral nerve during a hysterectomy. These causes are not the doctor’s fault as there is nothing she can do about them.
However, doctors know they should position the retractors correctly and have a duty to not only place them correctly but check the placement during surgery and adjust the blades accordingly.
Correct placement of the retractor leaves space between the retractor and the psoas muscle. Lean patients do not have enough fat to prop up the retractor to keep it off the psoas so increased vigilance is called for with regard to lean patients. If the retractor is correctly placed it is impossible for the retractor to compress the psoas muscle and injure the femoral nerve.
If you had a CT scan that showed you did not have a hematoma or abscess, then you are more likely to have been the victim of medical malpractice during this surgery. If you do not have diabetes, then you are more likely to have been the victim of medical malpractice during this surgery.
Sometimes improper positioning can cause your injury. Were you placed in stirrups or laid flat? If you were in stirrups, your injury is more likely to have been caused by the retractor.
Medical malpractice cases involve intense record review. All the facts must be ascertained and reviewed by a medical expert before a case can be commenced. The law firm of Zimmet & Zimmet practices only personal injury law. Your questions answered. Your options explained.