Carpal Tunnel Surgery and the Lacerated or Cut Median Nerve
The median nerve is one of the major nerves in the hand. It provides sensation and motion to the thumb-half of the hand. The median nerve begins in the upper arm and travels down the arm, through the carpal tunnel at the wrist, and into the hand. The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are actually the result of the squeezing and compressing of the median nerve within the carpal tunnel. The whole purpose of carpal tunnel surgery is to relieve the pressure on the median nerve within the carpal tunnel. This purpose is achieved by cutting the transverse carpal ligament into two pieces. The transverse carpal ligament is the roof of the carpal tunnel. When the transverse carpal ligament is cut into two pieces, the carpal tunnel is opened, and the pressure on the median nerve is relieved.
The median nerve lies just below the transverse carpal ligament. All surgeons who perform carpal tunnel surgery know, or should know, that the greatest of care must be taken to avoid injuring the median nerve when cutting the transverse carpal ligament into two pieces. Unfortunately, some surgeons do not take sufficient care and they cut or lacerate the median nerve during the carpal tunnel release surgery. A cut or lacerated median nerve can result in permanent injury to the median nerve. Most people who suffer a cut or lacerated median nerve during carpal tunnel surgery never again regain normal strength, sensation, and function in the affected hand. Also most people who suffer a cut or lacerated median nerve during carpal tunnel surgery will endure severe nerve pain in the affected hand and arm for the rest of their lives. This is often due to the development of a painful traumatic neuroma at the location of the cut or laceration in the median nerve. A neuroma is a tangled ball of unconnected nerve endings. Any pressure on the skin above a neuroma can cause exquisite electrical pain to shoot up and down the affected arm and hand.
If you have undergone carpal tunnel surgery and suffered a cut or lacerated median nerve, you probably have been told by your surgeon that injury to the median nerve is an unfortunate but unavoidable complication and that nothing could have been done to prevent this injury from occurring in your case. Don't believe it! If a surgeon exercises appropriate care in the performance of carpal tunnel surgery a cutting of the median nerve should never occur. If a surgeon cut or lacerated your median nerve during a carpal tunnel surgery it's because that surgeon failed to exercise enough care. And now you will have a lifetime to endure the painful and debilitating consequences of that failure. If that sounds fair to you, you should walk away and not do anything to make that surgeon take responsibility for his or her failure of care. If you wish to make that surgeon take responsibility for his or her failure, the only effective way to do so is by pursuing a medical malpractice action against that surgeon.
The lawyers at Berger & Lagnese have a wealth of experience representing persons injured during carpal tunnel surgery. In fact, the law firm of Berger & Lagnese has the highest jury verdict in all of Western Pennsylvania in a medical malpractice case involving carpal tunnel surgery. In that medical malpractice case, we sued UPMC Presbyterian for permitting world renowned neurosurgeon Peter Jannetta to perform carpal tunnel surgery at UPMC using a surgical technique that had been widely condemned in the medical literature.
If you have undergone carpal tunnel surgery and your hand feels worse than it did before the surgery, you may have suffered a cutting or laceration of your median nerve. You should contact the lawyers at Berger & Lagnese immediately. We will help you determine whether a nerve injury has occurred and whether you have a medical malpractice case arising out of your carpal tunnel surgery.
Call us first for a free consultation concerning your potential medical malpractice case.