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Minimizing the risk of orthopedic surgery complications

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2015 | Medical Malpractice

Orthopedic surgical procedures in Pennsylvania can range from short outpatient visits involving the cleanup of bone spurs to major spinal reconstructions. Regardless of the magnitude of a surgery, there is a potential for complications in the hours and days following the procedure. Pain is one of the most common issues faced after surgery, but patients may also deal with more serious complications that could be life-threatening if not treated. In minimizing the risk of medical malpractice claims, an orthopedic surgeon may want to implement important measures for communicating with a patient and for evaluating complaints.

Communication can help a patient to understand the risks of surgery, providing a point of reference in the future if the outcome is not ideal. At the same time, some patients may be hesitant to ask all of their questions when meeting with a physician. Intermediary professionals may be able to answer questions as well to ensure that a patient has a clear understanding of what to expect. Communication with other health care providers in the hospital is also important so that proper prioritization occurs if there are signs of unusual swelling, infection, or unmanageable pain.

Orthopedic surgeons should also keep up with current technology and trends in their field to ensure that their methods and techniques are appropriate. This should also translate into clear communication as patients are educated about their conditions and options. An educated patient is more likely to comply with treatments, restrictions, physical therapy, and other concerns if there is an understanding of the impact these will have on the long-term results.

Because wrong-site surgeries are preventable, this is a critical area for developing strategies to avoid errors. Operating on the wrong limb or spinal level could result in legal action while causing insurance providers to deny payment.