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Jaw surgeries may raise medical malpractice concerns

Jaw-replacement surgery can help Boston area residents who experience clicking or pain in their jaws find relief. Patients with injured or misaligned jaws could wear out the cartilage in the jaw and require a jaw replacement. Improper implantation of total jaw-replacements can result in more surgeries and serious implications.

Patients who suffer from defective jaw implants may file a medical malpractice claim to obtain compensation for their injuries and to hold the responsible parties accountable.

Negligence by a surgeon can include many things such as diagnostic errors, treatment errors, or poor illness management. Medical malpractice claims can be brought against many parties, such as:

  • A surgeon who deviated from generally accepted standards of medical practice.
  • A hospital which provided improper care or training to its staff that resulted in problems such as unsanitary facilities or medication and anesthesia errors.
  • Hospital operators, such as local, state, or federal agencies.

Jaw-replacement surgery is also becoming more common in suburban hospitals throughout the country. A 3-hour jaw-replacement surgery was recently completed at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center in Pennsylvania.

A doctor who led the surgery at the Pottstown hospital said that the hospital would offer the procedure to other patients but that jaw-replacement surgery is only performed when other treatments do not work, The Berksmont News Community Connection reports.

"We have a whole arsenal of options available to us - including arthroscopic surgery. If a person is having constant pain and it's affecting their productivity, lifestyle and food choices, it's time to consider medical treatment," the doctor said.

Source: The Berksmont News Community Connection, "PMMC doctors offer hope for TMJ sufferers," 3/16/11

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