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I have a very close friend who went to a spine surgeon for…

Second opinion] I have a...
Second opinion] I have a very close friend who went to a spine surgeon for low back pain and foot drop. The surgeon informed her that she had a pseudoarthrosis at L5 as well as nerve intrappment and an unstable LS spine. He informed her that she was in need of surgery for removal of the pseudoarthrosis, attempted unintrappment of the affected nerve and for a fusion of L4 to L5. For clarification my friend audio recorded her appointments with the spine surgeon. During her pre op appointment the surgeon informed her that she would be receiving infuse during surgery to increase bone growth. He told in spite of it being unreasonably expensive for her not to worry when she got her insurance statement because she would have no out of pocket expenses. He stated that the drug company just charged an unconscionable amount, but the hospital would "write it off." He said NOTHING FURTHER AT ALL regarding the infuse. I visited my friend in the hospital during her 2 day hospital stay. She stated that her numb foot had more sensation than prior to the surgery, but stated that her low back persisted. She is a 61 year old widow and 20 year close family friend. She is well known for being very independent and stolid. However, she has rapidly declined since her discharge from the hospital. She says that she has unbearable pain in her low back and throughout her hips.Her once articulate speech is virtually unintelligible now. I took her back to the spine surgeon's office today. Instead of the surgeon, a nurse practitioner came into the room. Tactfully, she, (with pain and difficulty) and I informed the nurse that she was in the worst condition of her adult life, and that we had driven 250 miles round trip. He seemed to anxiously patronize us. I asked if the doctor would be seeing her. He replied that the doctor had a hectic schedule, so he doubted it. I informed the nurse that this was a dire situation and implored him to ask the doctor/spine surgeon to see her. Several minutes later the spine surgeon, (who performed her surgery) entered the room. He was obviously irritated and curt, avoiding eye contact. My friend told him of her agonizing pain while he hurriedly gave a brief look at her sutures while she was seated. He said the wound looks great and your pain and infuse is coming from the infuse. I sat astounded as her was so hurried that he left her name and the date off the script that he wrote her for Morphine 15mg tablets. He said that she'd be getting a shot of decadron to help her pain and swelling from the infuse. Before either of us had time to submit a question, he had left the room. Due to failing health I closed my internal medicine practice of 25 years, some 15 months ago. Assuredly, I can recognize the obvious in medicine. My friend's once fluent speech is now stammered. She is almost bed bound, and she yells in agony. I feel guiltridden by what I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BEFORE . The side effects of the infuse plus the fact that it's use in my friend's lumbar fusion was,"off label." Additionally, on a federal web site I just read where her surgeon received several hundred thousand dollars per year from the makers of, infuse. This is same man who blatantly and on tape, stated that the drug companies were sociopaths for charging such high prices for meds that were cheap to make. I cannot allow my disgust to cloud my advice to my friend about this travesty. Based on what I have presented to you, are my friend's options? What would you do in this situation? Thank you for your time and expertise.
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Answered in 2 days by:
11/16/2017
WiseOwl58
WiseOwl58, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,595
Experience: Personal Injury Lawyer
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I think you should get another doctor to handle the case. Health is most important and you need to get away from thdoctor who is not serving you and your friend well.

Please rate 4 or 5 stars and close out the question. Good luck to you. I wish you all the best.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thank you for your time.

Please rate 4 or 5 stars and close out the question. Good luck to you. I wish you all the best.

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
I appreciate your writing me to change doctors. Since the doctor has gotten big kickbacks from Medtronic, the company that makes and heavily markets infuse, I believe that she will turn him in for STARK violations. Do you the process for doing this? Thank you for your assistance.

The Stark Act it is federal law, so it would be enforced and prosecuted by the US Attorney's office in your federal court district.

Please rate 4 or 5 stars and close out the question. Good luck to you. I wish you all the best.

WiseOwl58
WiseOwl58, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,595
Experience: Personal Injury Lawyer
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WiseOwl58 and 87 other Personal Injury Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thanks you answered my question okay. I can research the rest.
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