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Old 04-24-2008, 08:55 PM   #1
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Question Doctor severed my tendon during Bunion Surgery--has this happened to anyone else?

After my surgery, the doctor came in to tell me that the surgery went well but he accidently "knicked" my tendon. He also said that he "repaired" the tendon and healing should progress as expected. Two weeks after surgery I cannot move my toe. When I asked the doctor if he "knicked it" or severed it he then told me he did infact sever the whole tendon. My tendon has ruptured since the surgery and I will be getting a second opinion.
Has this happened to anyone else and what did they do? Not really wanting to go legal but wondering what complications I might be facing now. Would appreciate some feedback--please.

 
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Old 04-25-2008, 06:03 AM   #2
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Re: Doctor severed my tendon during Bunion Surgery--has this happened to anyone else?

Wow.. I am surprised he told you but I guess if he did not then you would have wondered why your healing would take so long.. If he did indeed repair it -- my guess is that it will eventually be fine..tight but fine --I had surgery for a torn tendon in my elbow..the surgeon had to totally detach and reattach it to the bone I guess so much depends upon where he severed it and how good a job he did with the repair. Tendons take a very long time to heal and will feel tight for a long time. I am a year and 4 mths post op on my arm and I still need to stretch it often as it feels tight but for the most part I would never notice I had anything done to it.
You might want to get a second opinion or at least someone who is willing to send you for an MRI so you can actually see what he did and if the repair looks good. That would be the only way they could see it. It may be hard to trust the word of someone who made the error and certainly does not want a lawsuit..but then again he did tell you that he cut it .. just not the whole truth right away.. hard call to make here.. I think, myself - I would seek out a second opinion.. but research carefully who you go to because you need to trust that they are going to tell you like it is and not " oh he screwed up and I can fix it with another surgery" even when you don't need it..
Good luck

 
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Old 04-25-2008, 07:52 AM   #3
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Re: Doctor severed my tendon during Bunion Surgery--has this happened to anyone else?

For my bunion surgery I was actually told by the doctor that the tendon would have to be cut. Part of the reason that the bunion occurs is that the tendon between the big toe and the next one tightens and pulls the big toe to the left. In order to correct that leftward pull you must cut the tendon. If they don't cut that tendon, then the chances of you having to go back and redo the surgery is higher. I am now 3 months post op and still have to work really hard in using the muscle to pull the toe up, spread all the toes out, and pushing the toe down. For about 6 weeks or more I actually could not feel any muscle pull in my foot at all. It is slowly returning, but there is still a lot of strength in the foot that has not returned.

I felt a burning tearing sensation between my toes for a long time. Even now, I occasionally have that when I have been working moving the foot a lot during the day.

Why the doctor acts as if this wasn't supposed to occur as part of the surgery, I don't know. What I do know that in a lot of the surgeries they do have to cut the tendon.

 
Old 04-25-2008, 08:12 AM   #4
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Re: Doctor severed my tendon during Bunion Surgery--has this happened to anyone else?

Doctor said that he "always" retracts the tendon out of the way but in my case something went wrong. I am upset now because the tendon ruptured and now I am scheduled for an ultrasound to see the damage. I would've had an MRI but the doctor said that the screws would distort the image of the MRI.
Is that true?

 
Old 04-25-2008, 08:20 AM   #5
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Re: Doctor severed my tendon during Bunion Surgery--has this happened to anyone else?

Distort the image of the MRI?? I've never heard of that....When I was having to get opinions as to what to do about my back after my car accident, I was asked to get MRI pictures. I was shown comparrison MRI pictures....WITH screws in them....They weren't distorted and neither was the rest of the picture. It was *very* clear actually.

 
Old 04-25-2008, 08:50 AM   #6
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Re: Doctor severed my tendon during Bunion Surgery--has this happened to anyone else?

You have to be very careful with MRIs if you have metal- the magnets in the MRI will pull against certain metals so I think it depends on what kind of screws you have. It sounds to me like he did the right thing by telling you. Now you just need to determine how long before it heals.
good luck!

 
Old 04-25-2008, 09:12 AM   #7
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Re: Doctor severed my tendon during Bunion Surgery--has this happened to anyone else?

Titanium is ok. Stainless screws may cause blurring.

 
Old 04-25-2008, 09:50 AM   #8
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Re: Doctor severed my tendon during Bunion Surgery--has this happened to anyone else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lcweiden3132 View Post
Distort the image of the MRI?? I've never heard of that....When I was having to get opinions as to what to do about my back after my car accident, I was asked to get MRI pictures. I was shown comparrison MRI pictures....WITH screws in them....They weren't distorted and neither was the rest of the picture. It was *very* clear actually.
OK, I just called another ortho doc office and they did say that the magnets in the MRI will reflect the metal in the foot to make the picture fuzzy. So I guess it is true.

 
Old 04-25-2008, 10:43 AM   #9
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Re: Doctor severed my tendon during Bunion Surgery--has this happened to anyone else?

I never heard of having to cut the tendon..my understanding is that the way one is walking puts pressure on the toe joint and pushes it outward thus the bunion.. once it is placed in alignment and orthotics are used to correct the way one is walking it should hold. It could be and my doc just did not get into all the details but I don't think he did . I will ask him.

 
Old 04-25-2008, 01:36 PM   #10
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Re: Doctor severed my tendon during Bunion Surgery--has this happened to anyone else?

Regarding MRI's and metal inside your body...

If you have metal, and go for an MRI, it is possible the metal could be pulled out by the giant electromagnet, even if it is in a different part of your body. It depends on the type of metal (iron/steel is the worst), how big it is, and where it is, but it's something people should be aware of.

 
Old 04-25-2008, 02:02 PM   #11
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Re: Doctor severed my tendon during Bunion Surgery--has this happened to anyone else?

??? I thought they only used titanium screws in most surgeries these days....don't they???

 
Old 04-25-2008, 02:32 PM   #12
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Re: Doctor severed my tendon during Bunion Surgery--has this happened to anyone else?

I think it depends, surgical stainless steel is ( I believe) better for certain applications. I have no idea why but I have a friend who is a spinal surgeon. I will ask when I see him.

 
Old 04-25-2008, 02:37 PM   #13
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Re: Doctor severed my tendon during Bunion Surgery--has this happened to anyone else?

No. Titanium is WAY MORE EXPENSIVE than stainless steel. I have a known allergy to SS, therefore titanium was approved. Some surgeries are done with titanium, but most with stainless. Most people don't even know what kind of metal they have.

As an example from my bills:

Screw (stainless steel) 3mmx30mm $112.00
Screw (titanium) 3.5mmx30mm $1044.00

Amazing! That's ONE screw!

 
Old 04-25-2008, 02:58 PM   #14
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Re: Doctor severed my tendon during Bunion Surgery--has this happened to anyone else?

wow... I know mine are titanium.. but never knew how costly..

 
Old 04-30-2008, 06:17 PM   #15
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Angry Re: Doctor severed my tendon during Bunion Surgery--has this happened to anyone else?

Update:

Well, I just had an ultrasound to see if my tendon has ruptured and it has. I have a 7 cm distance between tendons and will have to have a SECOND surgery to repair---darn doctor! I will have a different doctor do the surgery and will make phonecalls tomorrow. UGH!!!!! Such frustration!

My father has suggested that I go legal with this because of the time involved. Not really sure if I want to go that route yet. People do make mistakes and it is ONLY a toe---right? LOL

 
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