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Diagnosis Delay??Malpractice

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state?TEXAS-Im giving the full story about my injury to see if I have a possible misdiagnosis malpractice case....SORRY for the length, just wanted to add the details.....

I injured myself at work mid november of 04'. I was throwing a case in a one of my accounts when I heard and felt a tear followed by a pop and then muscle spasms immediately following (shoulder-chest area). I immediatee ly went to my car and called my boss who directed me to a Cocentra clinic to see a doctor. By the time I saw the doctor (4 hours later) the area had already swollen signifigantly and I had very little ROM. The doctor took an x-ray after examining said that I had a pectoralis major rupture(chest). He thought it was minor enough to send me back to work the following day with a 20 pd. restriction. He told me to return in 3 days for further examination My boss sent somebody with me to lessen my load. I worked for 3 more days even though the swelling and pain were increasing(massive amount of hemotope had developed).
I returned three days later(with SEVERE bruising and swelling) and the doctor looked at the injury, and sent me to physical therapy(same day) and told me to continue RICE therapy. He didnt change my weight restrictions.
The physical therapist spent about 45 minutes with me and stated that this was the worst pec tear he had seen. He couldnt believe the doctor still had me at work. He was actually called the doctor in and said that he thought the 20 pound restriction was not right and that it should be reduced(BRAVE THERAPIST CONTRADICTING THE DOC!!) The doctor acted reluctant but aggreed to move it to a five pound limit, almost as if he were getting pushed by medical center management to get workers back to work asap.
By this time I was getting terked by the lack of concern the clinic was giving. I was suggested to continue PT but did not because I knew this tear was worse than diagnosed and I already had lost trust in this low grade clinic( Ive lifted weights for 12 years and know my body )
I was now confined to lite duty in the office were I just did paperwork and excerted no pressure on the injury. I saw the doctor(s) 2-3 more times(actually saw 3 different ones throughout the month at cocentra) The swelling stayed around for about 3 weeks and then started to subside. During my visits I asked about getting an MRI and they kept saying it was unnessary. The pain I was experincing was lessening but my muscle function just was not improving and I was not regaining strength as a healing slighty torn muscle does. I also noticed that in my transcriptions they kept disclosing that I was a weight lifter (funny because this injury is caused by the bench press exercise about in about 80% of the reported injuries..it was almost as if they were implying that it was caused by this).
Anyways on my final visit the doctor gasped when he saw the "gap" between my chest and shoulder(at the pec incertion). This was the first time they had noticed the deformity because the swelling lingered around for so long filling the "gap". The Dr. I was seeing that day called all of the Dr's I had seen during the month at Cocentra into the room. They all came into agreeance that the tear was much more significant than thought. I was then told to see an orthopedic specialist.
The Cocentra referral people were taking to long to set an appointment so I took it upon myself to find somebody qualified in this type of injury. I was now dealing with workmans comp reps, but stayed at work while trying to get this all together(light-duty of course). I went to a shoulder surgeon(highly regarded with professional athletes). This was now about 5 1/2 weeks after initial injury. (Everybody seemed to be taking there time on this time-crucial injury, cocentra, work comp, etc) When I saw the specailist he said the injury was now at a different level. He said that due to the time laypse the injury was not completly repairable. I had completly torn the tendon at the clavicular head and about 50% of it at the sternal head. He said that he would have been able to repair it within the first couple of weeks but now the injury was beyond his skill level. The injury had created scar tissue(fibrosis) and the muscle had know retracted. He said I would need to find somebody quick(surgery) if I wanted to get as much function back as possible. He said he regretted that I wasnt able to see him sooner as he would have been able to repair to 100% function.
I spent hours upon hours trying to find a doctor who would perform this now acute injury. I must have called at least 50 doctors all across the state of Texas.(Getting this repaired is extremely important to me considering fitness is a huge part of my life and im in school for exercise science... this injury was know going to affect my lifestyle and possible not allow me to return to my job which is labor intensive).
I found a doctor about 300 miles away who had interest in this paticular injury and agreed to see me. He also agreed that the injury was now past the stage of 100% recovery due to the misdiagnosis after he looked at the MRI. He said it might not be repairable at all and wouldnt know until he opened me up. I ageed to have surgrery which was 4 weeks ago and work comp started the day of surgery. He placed 2 anchors in my chest and repaired one of the head to about 70%. The other head had retracted to far and was unrepairable and had bonded to other tissue. He said I should be able to gain about 60-70% strength back(because im in my early 20's) over the next six months and that the gap at the pec insertion would always be there along with the massive amount of scar tissue were the muscle/tendon retracted.
Do I have a case against the original provider considering I had 2 specialist say that the injury was 100% repairable if I would have been diagnosed in a timely manner? This injury has consumed my life for the past 3 months and my rehabilitation is now much longer because of the difficulty of the surgery. I dont even know were to start with a lawyer but I feel this is something I need to due because negligence is now going to affected me for the rest of my life. Im young and feel I was jousted because I will not be able to perform some of the athletic activities I love for the rest of my life due to an imcompetent doctor. Where do I go from here?
Sorry for the LONG explanation, I just wanted to add all details.

Thanks for any input
Can I


Senior Member
Take your case to both a worker's comp and personal injury/medmal attorney to evaluate your case form both aspects.


Junior Member
Diagnosis delay

Hi I live in Bucks County Pennsylvania. I am 35 years old and as of 1/31/05, I was officially diagnosed with a cerebral aneurysm. My opthamologist, Dr. Judith Lavrich, had initially noticed over the past few months that there was a change in my vision. She scheduled an MRI on 1/11/05 after doing several visual field tests and noticing that they had changed significantly.

I was approved by Aetna USHC for the first test. It showed a 3mm tumor in the pituitary. Both she and my primary Dr. Barbara Shonberg, requested certification for an MRA from Aetna and their partners National Imaging Associates. NIA specifally stated to Dr. Lavrich that the MRI was more extensive and therefore they would not approve the MRA. Both the doctors and myself called numerous times to no avail. Dr Lavrich and her staff were treated rudely by NIA so she said could I keep up with them. I called and was never allowed to speak to a physican just a rep who in turn blew me off.

I have a family history of brain aneurysm and I would try to explain this to them. I finally found who was in charge of NIA and sent them a complaint letter stating how we had been treated, family history etc. Within two days I got the certification. On 1/30/05, I was finally able to get the MRA. Within 3 hours, I received a phone call from Dr. Lavrich and she told me that I have a 4mm cerebral aneurysm in my brain.

I am still number from this diagnosis. I can't honestly believe that knowing my history Aetna would not approve this immediately. My doctor's said this test was in my best interest.

I am still waiting for a consult with the neurosurgeon so I can schedule surgery. Thankfully it has not ruptured.

Do I have a case against them for their negligence in this situation?

Thanks for your input


Senior Member
One can not sue unless one has been significantly damaged by negligence. You have not been damaged by any act of negligence.

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