The plaintiff, 55, sought medical care from the defendant podiatrist in late 2018, who relayed that he could fix her bunion with surgical intervention.
The defendant negligently elected to perform an unnecessarily complex double fusion on the plaintiff’s right foot on January 30, 2018, fusing the first TMT tarsometatarsal in a lapidus procedure as well as an MTP first metatarsal phalangeal joint fusion. The defendant placed screws and a plate on the gap between the metatarsal and the medial cuneiform, but the bone staples only penetrated the metatarsal. Consequently, there was inadequate fusion of the metatarsal back to the medial cuneiform.
As a result of the lack of fusion, the plaintiff’s right big toe and the metatarsal remained slightly elevated.
On August 17, 2018, the defendant performed revision surgery on the first metarsal-phalangeal osteotomy and an osteotomy of the second metatarsal. But in performing the revision, his screw missed the bone, which passed through the soft tissues plantar to the proximal and distal phalanges of the right first toe. He also failed to provide any hardware to fixate a midpoint lateral incision of the second metatarsal, leaving half of the metatarsal essentially “floating.”
Now the plaintiff’s first metatarsal and second metatarsal both elevated upon application of pressure on the foot. Consequently, additional pressure now shifted to the third metatarsal.
Accordingly, on April 11, 2019, the plaintiff underwent a third surgery, this time consisting of osteotomies of the right third and fourth metatarsals. She subsequently had two additional surgeries in an attempt to rectify the problem caused by the first two procedures.
The defense argued that the outcome was a risk of the procedure. The defense focused on damages, contending that the plaintiff’s continuing pain derived from other health conditions, including a disabling full-body injury from years before, for which she was already under pain management.