Pain management treatments such as radiotherapy and rhizotomy have sometimes been known to lead to cases of medical malpractice. Aside from physical therapies and the prescription of drugs, doctors may use radiotherapy and rhizotomy to treat injuries and pain. These treatments are often proven to be powerful, life-saving weapons in the battle against injuries resulting from traumas and other illnesses. However, when they are done incorrectly, they can cause considerable pain and suffering for patients.
How can radiotherapy and rhizotomy go wrong?
Radiotherapy is mostly used for the treatment of cancer and involves the use of ionizing radiation to attack malignant cells. It can also be used for palliative purposes, i.e., to ease the pain. If radiation therapy is carried out incorrectly, however, it may result in painful burns. Overdoses of radiation can even be deadly. Patients can also develop sensitivities to radiation that result in unwelcome side effects. Often these are not caused by malpractice, however, and it would need to be established whether a patient’s symptoms are a result of negligence or naturally occurring side effects.
Something completely different and unrelated is a Rhizotomy. A Rhizotomy is a neurosurgical procedure that severs nerve roots in the spinal cord to help eliminate severe, usually chronic pain. It is often used to treat the symptoms of a herniated, extruded, or pinched disc that may be pushing on the nerve root but where surgery may be difficult to perform or is opted as a last resort prior to undergoing spinal surgery. An electrified hot probe is inserted at the sensory nerve to disable it and prevent the transmission of pain signals. A range of side effects might result from rhizotomy procedures, ranging from numbness at the site to the development of other conditions. In cases of negligence, mild or serious burns may result in mild cases, while more severe malpractice could lead to the wrong nerves being ablated.
In cases of radiotherapy malpractice and rhizotomy malpractice, fault and negligence can be challenging to prove. If you believe you have a valid complaint, you should consult an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to help you build your case. Book a free consultation at Sokoloff & Weinstein today.