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Lateral Femoral Nerve Damage from Malpositioning | Daytona Malpractice Lawyer

Femoral Nerve Injury from Malpositioning During Surgery

A 55-year-old woman who underwent surgery to remove her spleen woke up with severe numbness and pain in her leg that was caused by her being positioned so incorrectly during surgery that her lateral femoral cutaneous nerve was pinched.

During surgery, doctors, nurses and anesthesiologists all work together to ensure that patients are positioned correctly so that no nerves are pinched and damaged while the patient in unconscious.

To avoid lateral femoral cutaneous nerve injury during spenectomies and other surgeries, proper padding is required. Oftentimes, doctors use a type of bean bag to properly protect from this type of nerve damage.

Experts opine that femoral nerve damage is nearly impossible from malpositioning, but that the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve is susceptible to injury during surgery because it passes between strands of ligaments in the groin near the front of the hip and can be pinched there.

The lateral femoral cutaneous nerve has no muscular function but is only involved in sensation. Therefore injury to the nerve will not cause muscle dysfunction, but can limit movement because of the pain associated with the injured nerve.

The nerve can be injured in several types of surgeries, including orthopedic, abdominal, vascular, gynecological and even stomach stapling surgeries. Doctors usually opt for conservative non-surgical treatment if they suspect that excess weight, pregnancy or other potentially temporary issues are causing the nerve compression. Otherwise, restorative surgery is a more aggressive option.

For more on patient safety issues, see the library of articles by Daytona Beach medical malpractice attorney.

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