Doctor Put My Cast on Too Tight, Can That Be Medical Malpractice?

Orthopedic Malpractice: Casting a Patient’s Fracture Too Tight Can be Minnesota Medical Malpractice


No one plans for a broken bone, but they happen.  Almost everyone will suffer at least one fracture in their lifetime, and most people with have several fractures.  The entire process is very painful, especially if the fracture requires surgery.  Putting on a cast can also be painful, as it must be tight enough to keep the limb from moving and the broken bones from shifting during the healing process, yet it must be loose enough to allow circulation and prevent excess pressure on the nerves.  This is a fine balance for an orthopedist to walk.

Yet, unfortunately many orthopedists improperly cast patients by making the cast too tight.  This can cause serious injuries to a patient’s limb, particularly when the cast is left on for weeks or even months.  Here at Kuhlman Law, LLC, we handle orthopedic medical malpractice claims in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, and anywhere throughout the state of Minnesota.  Call us today by dialing (612) 444-3374 to learn more how we can help you protect your rights.


Causes of Casting a Fracture too Tight


Orthopedists and the nurses, nurse practitioners, and technicians assisting in placing a cast on a fractured limb are all trained how to do so properly to avoid secondary injuries, or injuries caused by the medical treatment.  However, some fractures can be very complex and require special attention, experience, and often extra imaging studies to ensure the proper result.  This is particularly true in crushing injuries, where several bones may be broken in a small area, or in fractures requiring surgery with hardware.

Outside of the complexity of the injury, there are several common causes of casting a fracture too tight due to Minnesota medical malpractice which include the following:

  • Failing to wait until swelling has stopped increasing;
  • Using the wrong material for the type of fracture;
  • Improperly packing the cast;
  • Wrapping the cast too tight;
  • Failing to take into account future swelling or reduction of swelling;
  • Failing to consider that the limb is weight bearing;
  • Failing to gauge how much the muscles in the limb will contract or retract when flexing;
  • Failing to consider how gravity will cause the limb to pool excess swelling from other areas of the injury;
  • Not identifying landmarks where nerves and vessels are;
  • Rushing to put on the cast to move on to the next patient;
  • Not considering how much a child may grow while in the cast if it is a long-term cast; and
  • Many other causes.


Common Injuries from Casting a Broken Bone Excessively Tight


While it may not seem like too much of an issue, putting a cast on a patient too tight can actually cause permanent damage.  This is because a cast that is too tight will restrict blood flow to the limb, will put excessive pressure on the nerves, and may even cause atrophy of the muscles or tendons in the limb.  This can cause some of the following damages due to Minnesota orthopedic medical malpractice:

  • Permanent nerve damage resulting in loss of sensation, loss of motor movement, constant pain, and/or constant tingling;
  • Severe damage to the vital blood vessel structures, including in loss of blood flow, loss of oxygen, loss of strength;
  • Damage to muscles and tendons which cause them to wither away or die slowly;
  • Malformation of the broken bones by causing them to bow inwards due to the outwards pressure;
  • Compressing and damaging tendons and ligaments making them weaker and work less effectively;
  • Amputation if the limb is cast too tight for too long and begins to die; and
  • Many other causes of medical malpractice.


Casting a Fractured or Broken Bone Too Tight is Very Serious Orthopedic Medical Malpractice in Minnesota


If you or a loved one have been injured due to the medical malpractice of a healthcare provider such as a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other health care service professional, call Kuhlman Law, LLC for a FREE consultation by dialing (612) 444-3374 to learn what your rights to compensation may be.  If we accept your case, we will conduct a thorough review of your case and advise you whether there may have been a serious medical mistake causing your injury.   There is no risk, and you do not owe us money unless we win your case.

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