Detached Patella Complications Lead To Malpractice Suit By Sacramento Woman, Part 4 of 9

It is worth noting that situations similar to those described in this medical malpractice case could just as easily occur at any of the healthcare facilities in the area, such as Kaiser Permanente, UC Davis Medical Center, Mercy, Methodist, or Sutter.

(Please also note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this personal injury lawsuit and its proceedings.)

On March 24, 2009, plaintiff returned to Dr. Hall for a follow-up visit. Plaintiff complained of pain when trying to walk without a splint. Dr. Hall noted an extensor lag when plaintiff attempted a SLR and also noted maltracking of the patella. Clinically, her knee was locking. Dr. Hall’s impression was patellar instability with subluxation. X-rays showed slipping of the prosthetic patellar component onto the lateral side. He advised plaintiff that unless her knee showed improvement, she should undergo a patellar revision and quadriceps repair.

Plaintiff next presented for a follow-up visit on April 14, 2009, complaining that her patella had drifted laterally. Dr. Hall recommended a revision patellar arthroplasty, and discussed with plaintiff the risks and benefits of the procedure. Plaintiff elected surgery.

On May 28, 2009, Dr. Hall, with Dr. White assisting, performed a quadricepsplasty and quadriceps realignment of the left quadriceps. A complete lateral release was carried out from the tibia proximally on the lateral aspect, which helped to control the mild tracking and subluxing, but did not completely settle the patella in its groove. The lateral tibial patellar tendon was detached distally and woven through the patellar tendon into the medical tissues. The quadriceps repair was done with Ethibond and a double breasting, overlapping procedure, which was performed to tighten the medial structures. Dr. Hall noted this procedure “may solve the patellar instability and its subluxation.”

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

Neither Drs. White nor Hall observed any malrotation of the tibial tray. It did not appear to either doctor that the positioning of the prosthetic components were playing any part in the patella maltracking. Instead, their opinion was that a soft tissue component to the healing process was causing the maltracking. Accordingly, the lateral release procedure focused on addressing and rearranging the soft tissue.

Plaintiff presented to Dr. Hall for a postoperative visit on June 7, 2009. Plaintiff complained, her stitches were bugging her and that they were tearing. Dr. Hall noted the incision was clean and dry and that plaintiff could do a SLR. An immobilizer was applied. Post op on June 14, 2009, Dr. Hall saw plaintiff for a follow-up visit. Plaintiff reported that she was doing okay. Plaintiff could do a SLR. By June 28, 2009, plaintiff presented to Dr. Hall for a follow-up visit. Plaintiff complained of left knee stiffness. Dr. Hall noted plaintiff had good quadriceps and the patella was centralized. Plaintiff had 75% flexion and appeared to be healing well. Continuing, on July 19, 2009, plaintiff complained of left knee pain. Plaintiff could perform a good SLR but displayed a 10-degree lag. He also noted plaintiff had good flexion and the patella was tracking centrally. By August 16, 2009, however, plaintiff complained of soreness and tightness in her left knee. Dr. Hall noted her quadriceps range of motion and stability were excellent. Plaintiff discussed returning to work and Dr. Hall released her to return to work and follow-up as needed. (See Part 5 of 9.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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