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shillnav

Totally Botched Total Knee Replacement - Help!

6 posts in this topic

I had a Total Knee Replacement in June 2011 at my local VA Hospital which is a 2 hr. ride from my home. After 4 days I was released, came home and started outpatient therapy at a local hospital. The nightmare for me began. I was seen at the VA 2 weeks later and told everything appeared normal. I was expecting pain and therapy hell, but into the 3rd week of therapy it didn’t start to diminish so I started to think something was wrong. After losing 15 lbs. , not able to eat, sleeping maybe 30 minutes a night, having intense pain this far out from surgery I became convinced that it wasn’t right. I seriously didn’t know if I would or could recover from this. Without eating or sleeping for an extended time I seriously wondered if this was going to kill me. The pain was nonstop and off the charts.

All that the therapists at this local hospital would tell me was that some progress quicker than others and that determined therapy was the key. At my next apt with the VA I saw one of the surgeons assistants. I told her of the weight loss, the sleep loss, the hell I’d been going thru and she immediately jumped up and went and got the surgeon. I believe that this assistant played a large role in my procedure due to her behavior at the hospital prior to and after my surgery and because of the terrified look she had when I told her of my condition. The surgeon came in, did a cortisone injection and it felt much better. I returned home.

I was seen at the VA again 2 weeks later. Another of the surgeon’s assistants saw me this time. He spent a total of 3 minutes with me and showed me the door. He grabbed my foot, pushed my leg towards me to check my range of motion and told me I was good to go. I asked him a second time about the pain that shoots down my leg and into my foot. Quote “A bad back can cause pain in the foot. You gotta bad back? You’re looking good man.” Showed me the door. I left there convinced with no doubt that something was wrong and they wished I’d just go away.

Finally, in Jan 2012 I went back, the same guy who gave me 3 minutes saw me again, I expected the same treatment. He was quite different, told me that my patella was displaced and my foot was angled too far outward because the prosthesis was inserted wrong. He arranged for me to see a contract surgeon who deals with troubled knee replacements.

When I saw the specialist he confirmed the implant was placed incorrectly, my foot was angled out too far; x-rays confirmed that patella was “maltracking.” Said it was pretty amazing that I was even able to walk. Also shook his head while looking at the x-rays and said “This shouldn’t have happened.” Also told me that with today’s technology in TKR that he rarely sees one put in like this. To take it out and do a total revision is the only solution. He arranged for the VA to provide a Fee Basis Approval to have a surgeon in my hometown perform the revision.

I got a top notch surgeon that’s going to perform the revision in a couple of weeks. He was quite disgusted and surprised when he saw my x-rays. Shoddy workmanship and stated this and much more. He’s told me that because parts of my leg surrounding the knee have been stretched out of place, and others have been pushed and crimped in ways that they shouldn’t be, that in addition to sawing out the prosthesis, drilling deeper holes and inserting a new one; he’ll also most likely have to repair some of the surround ligaments, etc., and said that he’s pretty sure that if he has to repair the ligaments in the way he thinks he will, I’ll end up with a knotted bulge on the inside of my knee.

I don’t care about the bulge. As of right now I can’t extend my lower leg. I have to pick it up with my hands and lay it out there. I can’t slip into a pair of shoes without using my hands to push my leg down. It twitches and jerks uncontrollably while in bed. Pain is constant. Can’t use stairs. Can’t squat. Pain in my lower leg and foot as well as my hip and lower back. Posture is not good. It’s affected most of my body in a bad way. Surgery was almost one year ago (minus 6 weeks) and it’s been hell, much worse than before the surgery.

I was approved for the 13 months 100% rating after the initial surgery. It will expire in August.

Should I reapply for another 13 months at 100% after this next surgery or wait until they call me in for an evaluation? I know it’s difficult to do but should I speak with an attorney regarding a lawsuit?? Should I file the form required (don’t have the form number in front of me) requesting a cash settlement??

Should I file on the pain in the foot, hip, and back?? Should I file a claim after this next surgery regarding ligaments, etc., that the new surgeon most likely will have to repair??

I have a thousand questions going thru my mind and am very confused about what to do. Any advice, any help, any feedback would be appreciated more than you know.

Thanks Very Much

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I was approved for the 13 months 100% rating after the initial surgery. It will expire in August.

Should I reapply for another 13 months at 100% after this next surgery or wait until they call me in for an evaluation?

No don't wait for the evaluation, get all necessary paperwork ready and once you have the surgery mail off the claim.

I know it’s difficult to do but should I speak with an attorney regarding a lawsuit??

Yes you should find a lawyer, TORT claims are hard to prove ( I know I had one) but is sounds like you have a good one.

Should I file the form required (don’t have the form number in front of me) requesting a cash settlement??

I don't know of such a form, regardless unless you win a tort claim you will not get a cash settlement.

Should I file on the pain in the foot, hip, and back?? Should I file a claim after this next surgery regarding ligaments, etc., that the new surgeon most likely will have to repair??

Yes, but you need to file it as an 1151 claim, if approved, it will compensated just as if if were a direct service connected claim.

I have a thousand questions going thru my mind and am very confused about what to do. Any advice, any help, any feedback would be appreciated more than you know.

ADDED: If you win a tort claim, you will not receive va compensation unless the compensation is at a higher rate than the tort claim.

Edited by Teac

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My personal opinion would be to find an atty specialing in VA medical malpractice. I'd get copies of all surgical and medical reports, all x-rays and anything that pertains to this surgery. Documents & x-rays tend to get lost or misplaced, so I would do this immediately. You should also get the records from the Rehab people at your local hospital, too!

jmo

pr

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"I got a top notch surgeon that’s going to perform the revision in a couple of weeks"

See if he will give you an IMO after the surgery is done, documenting the level of negligence the VA caused.

There is info at hadit for that type of IMO.

Get copies of all records as Philip said and do NOT tell VA you need your VA medical Recs and C file for any potential claims or action regarding any medical screw ups because that is when the stuff starts to 'disappear'

AsTeac said:

"Yes you should find a lawyer, TORT claims are hard to prove ( I know I had one) but is sounds like you have a good one. "

I won a tort claim too. The form you mean is the SF 95. There is a pdf. SF 95 form here at hadit.

We have considerable info on FTCA claims as well as Section 1151 claims in our FTCA form here.

I gave info on how that form is to be prepared but my advise is to get a malpractice lawyer to do it.

During my settlement proceedings the US VA attorney and I kibbitized a lot about tort (FTCA claims) since the VA had lost at that point and he mentioned how unrepresented claimants have made errors in SF 95 forms that cause those claims to be denied right off the bat.

The VA accepted my SF 95 with no problems and I posted here at hadit how I filled it out but I studied as much as I could on FTCA law before I sent it in.

What my form regarded was wrongful death so in that respect it was different than most SF 95s are but the info in the FTCA forum shows what the VA needs.

Edited by Berta

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Need to add- you can file a Section 1151 claim as well as a FTCA claim.

These claims however are handled independent of each other by VA-

Regional and/or General Counsel VA will handle the tort, your VA Regional office will handle the 1151 claim.

You submit the same evidence however to both VA counsel and also to the VARO.

The FTCA offset info is also explained in the FTCA/1151 forum here.

The level of disability due to VA malpractice is what the VA rates for the 1151 claim.

Any potential settlement under FTCA is negotiated by your lawyer with the VA.

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If the knee was SC'd I believe comp for it should be increased to the minimum

of 30 % for TKR.

Post-TKR, and after convalescence comp should assign at least the 30 percent [minimum scheduler] rating under Code 5055 (for TKR).

JMHO

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