Millions of Americans suffer with back pain and many seek medical attention for relief from their daily pain. But what happens when instead of relieving your pain and healing what ails you, your physician somehow injures you further, or even worse, what if you never had any pain to begin with but your doctor made a mistake and the result was excruciating back pain? Sadly, medical mistakes occur quite often, and when the result is horrible pain, your life can be forever changed because a doctor or some other healthcare professional was negligent.
What is Arachnoiditis?
The painful condition known as “arachnoiditis” is an inflammation of the membrane surrounding and protecting the spinal cord, the arachnoid. Sufferers of arachnoiditis experience terrible pain and neurological problems associated with the compromised nerves around the spinal column.
Arachnoiditis is one of the most debilitating forms of back pain, one of the most common causes of back pain and is sometimes the result of medical error. Attorneys like Eric R. Bernstein who handle medical malpractice cases have experience with these complex claims and will work with a team of medical professionals to get financial compensation for victims of arachnoiditis when the cause is medical negligence.
The numerous symptoms of arachnoiditis can become severe and permanent if the condition goes undetected and untreated. The condition is so debilitating that many victims of arachnoiditis are unable to work and accomplish simple activities of daily living.
Symptoms of arachnoiditis include:
- Shooting pain that feels like electric shocks
- Weakness, numbness, tingling in the lower extremities
- Hot flashes
- Burning sensation in the lower extremities
- Sensation of insects crawling on the skin
- Sensation of water trickling down the legs
- Bladder and/or bowel dysfunction
- Sexual dysfunction
- Muscle cramps and spasms
- Uncontrollable twitching
Causes of Arachnoiditis
Why is this condition that causes back pain considered medical malpractice in some cases? Because the causes of this painful condition may be the direct or indirect result of a doctor’s care. Here are some of the many causes of arachnoiditis:
- Direct injury to the spinal cord during a medical procedure
- Injury to spinal cord caused by the chemicals used in myelograms; the dye in this diagnostic test is injected right into the area around the spinal cord and nerves; additionally, the preservatives found in epidural steroid injections have also been known to cause arachnoiditis.
- Viral and fungal meningitis infections that travel to the spine
- Tuberculosis that has affected the spine
- Chronic compression of the nerves of the spinal cord caused by Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD) or spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spinal column.
- Spinal surgery complications
- Complications from other invasive spinal procedures including lumbar punctures
As you can probably guess by the numerous, complicated causes of arachnoiditis, it takes a great deal of time and money to thoroughly investigate why, specifically, someone has arachnoiditis. It may or may not have been caused by a medical professional. It will take an experienced personal injury attorney and a thorough investigation to determine whether your case was caused by medical malpractice.
Diagnosis of Arachnoiditis
Diagnosing this condition is not easy, but CT scans and MRI’s have been used successfully in diagnosis of arachnoiditis. An EMG (electromyogram) can measure the damage of arachnoiditis by using electrical impulses to assess the damage to affected nerves.
If you have been diagnosed with arachnoiditis or believe you’ve suffered due to medical negligence or wrongdoing and you live in the New York metro area, please call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation.