Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine, and the cause of most cases of scoliosis is indeterminable. Though certain developmental disabilities (such as cerebral palsy) are associated with a higher risk of developing scoliosis, most cases do not present with any other pathology. Most cases of scoliosis are fairly mild, but significant cases pose significant health risks, including malformation of the lung cavity.
Treatment for scoliosis varies based upon the degree of the curvature. Mild cases are sometimes left untreated, though most are remedied through the use of a back brace. In some cases the brace must be worn at all times, but other times the back brace might only be indicated for nighttime use.
In severe cases, scoliosis can be treated through surgery, though this is not without risk. Potential side effects of surgery include:
- Allergic or adverse reactions to anesthesia
- Surgical mistakes, including misplacement of screws and bolts
Of these, the last is entirely preventable, and the risks of the other two can be minimized through proper precautions. Botched surgeries are always dangerous, but botched scoliosis surgery is even more likely to result in significant health defects due to the fact the surgery is on the spine. In many cases, surgical mistakes correcting scoliosis result in paralysis.
When the surgeon makes a mistake with the scalpel, the error is usually immediately apparent. But when the mistake involves mis-positioning of screws, it can take years for the patient to suffer the full extent of side effects. These mistakes often lead to slow damage to the spine, either from shifted weight or wear and tear.
If you or someone you love required surgery to correct scoliosis, and the long-term prognosis was compromised by surgical error, please consult with a lawyer. All too often it can be difficult to determine exactly where the error occurred, but an experienced attorney can guide you through the process of learning what went wrong.