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Back and Neck Injury Can Be Interconnected

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Ventura, CASuffering a back and neck injury—or any combination of the two—can foster more than simple inconvenience. The fallout can impact everything from job performance to interactions with your children or your spouse. Even your daily movements can be impacted in kind.

Little wonder, when such an injury is encountered through no fault of one's own but is alleged to have been caused by someone else's negligence, back injury lawsuits—or the pursuit of neck injury compensation—will most assuredly come into play.

Sometimes the injury is the result of a surgical procedure. Such was the case with spinal fusion procedures that have fostered a series of lawsuits against a neurosurgeon who performed the procedures at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, California. Dr. Aria Sabit is no longer performing surgery at that facility; however, the back injury compensation claims continue nonetheless.

Plaintiffs allege their fusion procedures were botched, with too many surgeries performed by the surgeon who is alleged to have relied on hardware that included rods, screws and interbody cages, according to the Ventura County Star (2/16/12).

One plaintiff, Charles Shinn of Ventura, alleges in his lawsuit that Sabit had committed only to minimally invasive surgery. However, the surgeon wound up performing a much more involved procedure that included the placement of an interbody cage on his spine.

The plaintiff alleges he was never informed of the change in procedure, prior to his surgery.

The lawyer for another back injury compensation claim plaintiff alleges the defendant "didn't know what he was doing," and that the surgeon's negligence caused installed fusion screws to pull away from the bone. The attorney went on to say that when he was first introduced to his prospective client, she was bowed like a paper clip.

Dr. Sabit, now practicing in another facility in Michigan, refutes the allegations. His defenders maintain Dr. Sabit successfully completed a seven-year residency and quickly earned a reputation as a "go-to" surgeon willing to take on difficult procedures. Lawsuits have yet to go to trial, with the first slated for an April start.

Meanwhile, concussion problems that have plagued hockey phenom Sidney Crosby have been further complicated by the recent discovery of an un-diagnosed soft-tissue neck injury. While many patients suffering a neck injury—undiagnosed or not—will pursue neck injury compensation, it is assumed Crosby would not go that route, even in the face of some unanswered questions as to when the neck injury may have happened, and what bearing, if any, it has on his symptoms.

Anyone following the story will know that Crosby was diagnosed with a concussion on the 6th of January 2011. After sitting out the remainder of that season, Crosby returned to action briefly on November 21 and played eight games before leaving the ice again, for an indefinite period, in early December.

He was diagnosed with a soft-tissue neck injury by Dr. Alexander Vaccaro, an orthopedic surgeon based in Philadelphia, on January 30 of this year. Dr. John Heller, of the Emory Spine Center in Atlanta, noted in comments published in the Pittsburg Tribune Review (2/2/12) that "one common way for somebody to injure their neck is to hit their head, so it's very common for those injuries to coexist. Sometimes it takes awhile to let one thing settle down so you can notice the real issue."

The soft-tissue neck injury to Crosby is identified as affecting an area occupied by the C1 and C2 vertebra. "Symptoms could range from nothing to fairly severe headaches and neck pain to spinal cord dysfunction," Heller said.

Thus, a back and neck injury can be interconnected.

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READER COMMENTS

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I had a doctor do my neck surgery. I suffered a sever infection that came from the sound out. I have pictures. Had the issue three months till I saw [another doctor] to help heal the infection. [The first doctor] put a foreign body in my neck that was not cadaver bone at all. I suffered an impingement of my esophagus from 2009 till 2014. I always felt like I had a pill stuck in my throat. Worst feeling ever. Mud numbness, and pain in my wrists amd fingers. Which will now never go away. Along with permanent numbing if my lower arms. I had two surgeries last summer to repair what he had done to me. I believe the infection is why I have degenerative disc disease today. I have chronic pain due to him and five levels of screws and rods in my neck. I now have had lower back surgery this summer involving screws and rods. Plus my thoracic vertebrae are collapsing. Not sure if there is anything I can do now. My vocal cords are permanently destroyed. I'm glad to see he is in jail but he has left me in chronic pain for the rest of my life!

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