Identifying Nerve Damage after Poorly Executed Podiatric Surgery

It’s not for nothing that foot surgeries have a bad reputation. Many patients come away from foot operations dissatisfied with the results, and a fair number feel as bad or worse after surgery than they did before. Some unfortunate individuals suffer permanent injuries at the hands of a negligent or incompetent podiatrist. Nerve damage, a common but frequently overlooked complication of foot surgery, is one of the major reasons for their suffering. 

If you are unsure of whether your ongoing pain or dysfunction after foot surgery is due to nerve damage and wonder what recourse you have if it is, now is the time to contact The Law Firm of Lawrence M. Karam, P.C. Larry Karam is a seasoned podiatry malpractice attorney with 25 years of successful outcomes behind him. 

He offers free consultations for patients like you who want a professional assessment of whether or not they have a viable claim for malpractice damages. There is no downside to calling him since if you become his client he will charge you no attorney’s fees until he wins your case.

How can I tell if I have nerve damage?

Most patients know the signs of fractures or infections that may be the result of poorly executed podiatric surgery but may be less clear when it comes to symptoms of nerve damage. This blog will help to clarify the matter.

Symptoms of nerve damage may include one or many of the following:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Burning sensation
  • Stabbing or shooting pain
  • Extreme sensitivity to touch (e.g. pain when a sheet touches the foot)
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of balance or coordination

Tinel’s sign is a well-known diagnostic tool for identifying compressive nerve damage. When the doctor taps the skin over an affected nerve, the patient experiences a pins and needle sensation. If Tinel’s sign is positive, the doctor will likely confirm the diagnosis with imaging tests, nerve conduction studies, or electromyography.

How Your Podiatrist’s Negligence May Have Caused Nerve Damage

Podiatrists, like the rest of us, make mistakes.  But if those mistakes are from the podiatrist failing to meet acceptable standards of care, you may be entitled to monetary damages for your injuries. For example, the podiatrist may be held liable in Court if they: 

  • Failed to provide you with information about the risks of the surgery 
  • Positioned your limb incorrectly during the procedure
  • Used surgical tools or hardware incorrectly
  • Provided inadequate postoperative care
  • Nicked, cut, entrapped or compressed a nerve during surgery
  • Failed to take into account your patient history or to pay attention to a pre-existing condition (e.g. diabetes, vascular disorders)
  • Failed to notice signs of nerve damage at the site, such as color changes to the skin, weakening of adjacent muscles, or alterations in perspiration patterns

Although some minor nerve injuries will improve (albeit slowly), other nerve injuries require surgical repair or remain permanently damaged.

The Consequences of Nerve Damage Can Be Life-Altering

If your podiatrist’s surgical negligence has damaged a nerve, you may have to live with the consequences for a prolonged period or permanently. These consequences will differ depending on whether a sensory or motor nerve has been damaged.

Sensory nerve damage may result in a pins and needles sensation or numbness. The former can be irritating, intrusive, and disturbing. The latter can be dangerous, since your insensitivity to heat or cold and may allow you to develop burns, sores, blisters, or infections before you become aware of them. 

Motor nerve damage can lead to significant mobility issues, causing difficulty or pain when standing or walking. It can also result in muscle weakness, painful cramps, or uncontrollable twitching.

The Takeaway

If you have been left with serious nerve damage after poorly executed podiatric surgery, the ramifications — physical and, in some cases, financial — can be overwhelming. Contact Larry Karam today to have your case handled by an experienced podiatric malpractice attorney. His strong legal representation will provide you with the best chance of recovering every dollar of compensation you deserve.

About the Author
Of all the different areas in medical malpractice, it is podiatry malpractice that has had a particular interest to me. With 42 years practicing law and representing hundreds of victims of malpractice, I have created a law practice in which my clients are comfortable knowing that their case is being handled with my personal attention, in the most professional manner, and without unreasonable delays.