spine surgery
medical litigation in spine surgery
informed consent
medical malpractice stress syndrome
practical advices to avoid spinal litigation

How to Cite

Iacob, G., & Ciurea, A. V. (2020). Assessment of malpractice litigation following spine surgery. Romanian Neurosurgery, 34(2), 179–188. https://doi.org/10.33962/roneuro-2020-029


Medical litigation in spine surgery is a serious concern today, with a high volume of clinical negligence claims, substantial financial cost and significant burden, who is threatening the future of this surgery.

Classical spinal surgery should be performed with very well documented indication, in order to improve the expected results, with clear aims: decompression of the neural elements of the spine from tightness, stabilizing the spine to protect the nerves, eliminate the pain resulting from abnormal loading from the different movements.

Spinal surgery today means a wide analysis, understanding and realization of spinal decompression, also osteosynthesis and fusions, using high-performance gestures, with increased addressability especially in the elderly, for a varied pathology, which involves anaesthetic-surgical risks, complications. In such a context, surgical damage does not necessarily result from an error or from surgical misconduct and the surgeon is not always responsible for the damage in the absence of a proven fault in the legal sense.

The paper aims to briefly review the main problems, but also useful recommendations to meet various challenges, expectations, maintaining the quality of life of each patient, reducing risks of getting sued, also to increase the odds of a successful defence.

In conclusion: education, vigilance, improved patient-safety strategies, investigation, implementation and sharing of lessons learned from litigation claims remain important components of spinal surgeons training, to reduce future cases of negligence and improve patient care, quality of life, as many of the cases of successful litigation had a preventable cause.



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