Alabama Spinal Cord Stimulator Lawyers | Belt, Bruner & Barnett Personal Injury Lawyers

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Alabama Spinal Cord Stimulator Lawyers

Spinal cord injuries are painful, even if they’re minor. Several treatments can help relieve this pain; one of the most common is a spinal cord stimulator. Although these devices can mitigate discomfort, there have been instances of defective models causing more harm than good.

Call a personal injury lawyer immediately to pursue a medical malpractice case and possible compensation if your spinal cord worsens your injuries. We understand these cases at Belt, Bruner & Barnett P.C. and can guide your next steps. We offer free consultations and are ready to hear your story.

Call our Alabama injury lawyers at 205-933-1500 or use our online form today.

What is a Spinal Cord Stimulator?

Spinal cord stimulators (SCS) are devices implanted on a patient’s spine to help relieve pain. They emit low levels of electricity along the spinal cord and have been found to reduce the need for pain medications.

These devices are recommended as the last option for anyone experiencing pain before resorting to surgical options. An SCS helps manage pain, but it is not a cure.

The 3 Types of SCS Devices

There are three models of spinal cord stimulators commonly used, and they can either sit outside the body or inside.

  • Conventional Implantable Pulse Generator (IPG) — this is a battery-operated stimulator. The battery is placed in the spine during an operation. The battery must then be replaced with another surgery.
  • Rechargeable IPG — this device works like the conventional stimulator, but the battery is rechargeable. That means no additional surgeries, and there is greater power output.
  • Radiofrequency Stimulator — this model isn’t used as often, but its power source is outside the body. Its power output is similar to the rechargeable device.

When Would a Spinal Cord Stimulator Be Useful?

A stimulator can be implanted in the spinal cord of someone feeling pain. The device’s electrodes are placed between the spinal cord and the vertebrae. The patient can activate the stimulator when they are feeling pain. The device will send impulses along the spinal cord, thought to block or disrupt the pain signals sent to the brain.

Pain can range from distracting to crippling. Most people will be desperate for relief, and they’ll turn to any kind of help they can. A medical provider may recommend a spinal cord stimulator to ease your pain if you’re experiencing chronic discomfort from:

  • Back pain
  • Arachnoiditis
  • Heart pain
  • Nerve-related pain
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Injuries to the spinal cord
  • Pain related to an amputation

Injuries That Might Require an SCS

The spinal cord is a sensitive collection of nerves. Severe accidents can disrupt or damage these nerves, resulting in significant pain and discomfort. Car accidents, accidents at work, or slip-and-fall accidents are some of the most common causes of injuries that cause nerve pain.

A medical provider might recommend a stimulation device after patients have exhausted other methods.

Defective SCS Devices Create Complications

As beneficial as they appear, spinal cord stimulators are not without complications. Like other surgeries, there could be issues during the implantation procedure. Some patients with these devices have complained of severe burns and shocks.

Other SCS complications include:

  • Device Migration: the electrodes stray from the intended area, where they won’t be effective. This might require another surgery to correct.
  • Dural Puncture: during the surgery to implant the device, the needle or the device could puncture the dura mater. This is the material surrounding the spinal cord. Stimulators are installed in the epidural space outside the dura mater. Piercing this membrane can negatively affect the patient.
  • Nerve Injury: a consequence of a migrating device, the SCS could compress the spinal cord, creating discomfort instead of treating it.
  • Paralysis: in extreme cases, a device could cause partial or complete paralysis. Partial paralysis describes a patient with no feeling or function in their lower body. Complete paralysis occurs when the patient cannot use all four limbs.

Can I Sue for Stimulation Device Complications?

If your spinal cord stimulator has negatively impacted your life, you can sue for damages related to your injuries. For instance, you can file a defective product lawsuit if the device malfunctions because of a manufacturing error.

However, most spinal cord cases are examples of medical malpractice. These claims argue that your injuries or condition worsened because of a medical mistake that could have been avoided.

Who is Liable for Spinal Cord Stimulator Complications?

There could be several parties responsible for the complications with your stimulation device.

  • Surgeons: The doctor responsible for implanting your device might not have followed the proper procedure or acted within Alabama’s medical standard of care.
  • Hospitals: The hospital should have ensured their staff was ready to install and maintain a spinal stimulator properly
  • Manufacturers: If a company produces a defective SCS and hurts you, they can be held responsible.

Filing a Defective SCS Lawsuit

Medical malpractice describes when a medical provider fails to provide reasonable care that harms the patient. Before you can file a medical malpractice claim, you’ll have to establish there was a relationship with the doctor, they provided substandard care, and that care resulted in your injuries.

Proving Medical Malpractice in an SCS Case

With the help of a medical malpractice lawyer, you stand a better chance of showing that your spinal cord stimulator caused your injuries. They can help you gather the evidence you need to show the medical care you received harmed you. Expert testimony by a physician with experience in the same field can help support that claim.

Your medical records will also help show why the SCS device was recommended, the pain it was supposed to reduce, and the injuries you received after it was installed. Your attorney might also argue that your doctor knew the device might not help but urged you to use one anyway.

Deadline to File A Medical Malpractice Claim

In Alabama, you have two years to file a medical malpractice claim under the state’s statute of limitations. That means you have a two-year deadline to file a claim after you notice your spinal cord stimulator injured you. There might be exceptions, but a personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim.

Compensation Available in a Spinal Cord Stimulator Claim?

Receiving compensation for your losses from a spinal cord stimulator is possible. You can pursue compensation for your:

  • Medical costs
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Physical impairment
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of quality of life

Call an Alabama Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you think your spinal cord stimulator caused you harm or discomfort, you need the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney in your area. The Belt, Bruner & Barnett P.C. team is highly regarded in spinal cord injuries and medical malpractice. We believe you deserve compensation, and the people responsible for your injury must be held accountable. Let us offer an objective opinion on your best options for recovery.

Use our contact form or call (205) 933-1500 to schedule a free, no-risk consultation.

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