Knee Surgery Gone Wrong: Do You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Ragain & Clark December 15, 2023
Knee replacements have become increasingly common over the last couple of decades, particularly for older adults but also for younger people who have knee issues. Despite the fact that knee replacements are common, they involve major surgery that carries considerable inherent risks. If you have had knee replacement surgery and are experiencing issues, you may be the victim of medical malpractice. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can assess your case and determine whether you may be entitled to compensation.
Are You Experiencing Any Symptoms?
It is not always easy to tell if you have received a bad knee replacement. During recovery, it is normal to experience pain, swelling, and limited range of motion. In many cases, symptoms may not begin to arise until long after you have fully healed from the surgery. Regardless, you should listen to your body if you are not healing like you should or are experiencing abnormal complications. Some of the symptoms you should pay particular attention to include the following:
- Severe pain
- Swelling and inflammation
- Joint instability
- Stiffness and limited range of motion
- Loss of mobility
You should seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. If you think your knee replacement was performed negligently, you should contact a medical malpractice attorney as well.
How Malpractice Can Occur in a Knee Replacement
Again, knee replacement (also referred to as knee arthroplasty) is major surgery. While every surgery carries risk, your surgeon has a legal duty to perform the procedure at or above the established standard of care. In other words, they must perform at the same level as other similarly skilled surgeons would with the same procedure.
A knee replacement typically involves removing any damaged bone and worn-out cartilage in the joint and then replacing them with plastic and metal implants so that the knee regains its full function.
One of the most obvious instances of malpractice would be operating on the wrong knee. However, there are other issues that may also be due to medical malpractice:
- Damage to surrounding tendons or ligaments
- Nerve damage
- Excessive scarring
Patients can also suffer from infection due to inadequate sterilization procedures or poor post-operative care. They could also suffer negative side effects from medication errors. If you suspect that there may have been medical malpractice in performing your knee surgery, contact a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible.
You Need to Take Action Because Strict Deadlines Apply
All personal injury cases are subject to deadlines known as statutes of limitations. You will lose all of your rights if you fail to file a lawsuit before these deadlines expire, regardless of how obvious the malpractice is or how serious the harm you suffered.
One of the challenges in medical malpractice cases is that the harm you suffered may not be immediately apparent. This is particularly true with knee replacements – you may not realize something is wrong until long after your surgery. As a result, it is important to understand how the statute of limitations will apply to your case.
Statutes of limitations for medical malpractice cases often begin running from one of two events:
- The date your procedure took place; or
- The date you discovered that you were harmed as a result of medical malpractice.
In Montana, you have two years to file a medical malpractice claim from the date of your knee replacement or from the date you discovered the malpractice. However, no claim can be filed more than 5 years after the date of the surgery. On another note, this deadline will be extended to three years in 2025. The statute of limitations is roughly the same in Wyoming. That said, there are important exceptions in both states. If you suspect that your surgeon committed malpractice in connection with your knee surgery, the sooner you contact a medical malpractice attorney the sooner you can take action to protect your rights.
Do You Have a Product Liability Claim?
Many bad knee replacements are not the result of medical malpractice. Some of them are due to defective materials used in the replacement. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to know whether or not you have a medical malpractice claim or a product liability case. A medical malpractice attorney who also handles product liability claims will be able to determine what type of case you have.
Contact Ragain & Clark for Help with Your Knee Replacement Medical Malpractice Claim
The medical malpractice lawyers at Ragain & Clark have decades of experience in helping people get the compensation they need. If you believe you have suffered as a result of medical malpractice, contact us today by calling 307-388-6400 (Worland) or 406-651-8888 (Billings) to schedule a free consultation.