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Orthopedic Surgeon Expert Witnesses

The expertise attorneys need in orthopedic surgery

Orthopedic surgery is the surgical specialty that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders, injuries, and diseases of the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves. Orthopedic surgeons treat injuries and illnesses such as fractures (broken bones), dislocated joints, arthritis, spinal disorders, sports injuries, and congenital or acquired deformities.

Orthopedic surgeons in the United States must complete a medical degree (MD or DO), followed by a five-year residency in orthopedic surgery. Some pursue fellowship training in a sub-specialty, such as sports medicine or spine surgery, which takes one to two years. Board Certification in orthopedic surgery is administered by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery (ABOS).

Some of the procedures orthopedic surgeons perform include:

  • Joint Replacement Surgery: replacing a damaged or diseased joint, such as the hip or knee, with an artificial joint made of metal and plastic.
  • Arthroscopy: a minimally invasive procedure that involves inserting a small camera into the joint to diagnose and treat problems such as torn ligaments or cartilage.
  • Fracture Repair: resetting and stabilizing a broken bone with surgical hardware such as pins, screws, plates, or rods.
  • Spinal Surgery: spinal fusion, discectomy, laminectomy, or spinal cord decompression, which can be used to treat spinal stenosis, herniated discs, or other spinal conditions.
  • Soft Tissue Repair: repairing torn ligaments or tendons, such as those in the knee, shoulder, or ankle, using minimally invasive or open surgical techniques.
  • Osteotomy: cutting and reshaping bones to correct alignment problems in the leg or foot, such as those caused by osteoarthritis or a congenital deformity.
  • Bone Grafting: transplanting bone tissue from one part of the body to another to help heal fractures, fuse joints, or promote bone growth.
  • Revision Surgery: procedure to correct a previous operation, for instance, because of a surgical error or hardware malfunction.

The role of an orthopedic surgeon as an expert witness

Many personal injury matters involve fractures, dislocations, and other orthopedic injuries. In these situations, an orthopedic specialist can be an essential expert witness. An orthopedic surgeon can help determine whether the plaintiff's injuries were caused by the defendant's negligence or other factors. An experienced orthopedist can also provide an expert opinion on the likely prognosis of the plaintiff’s musculoskeletal injuries, including the impact on mobility, ability to work, quality of life, and the risk that future medical procedures will be needed.

In medical malpractice matters involving surgical errors, misdiagnosis of an orthopedic condition, and other types of orthopedic surgery malpractice, a Board-Certified orthopedic surgeon can explain the applicable standard of care and offer an expert opinion on whether it was met. Orthopedic surgeons can also provide an opinion on the cost of revision surgery and the likely long-term prognosis for the patient.

Orthopedic surgeons are also valuable expert witnesses in workers’ compensation and disability matters involving musculoskeletal injuries. An orthopedic surgeon can provide an expert opinion on the plaintiff's level of disability, the extent to which it affects their daily activities, and the impact it may have on their future earning capacity.

The best in orthopedics to assist the legal community

Rieback Medical-Legal Consultants has decades of experience providing top-quality medical expert witnesses for America’s finest attorneys. Our network includes Board-Certified adult and pediatric orthopedic surgeons available for consultation and trial testimony. We are committed to serving as an integral part of your team from start to finish. Contact us today for a free case summary review.

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