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J Arthroplasty. 2007 Sep;22(6 Suppl 2):2-7. Epub 2007 Jul 27.

Medical malpractice in hip and knee arthroplasty.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, Missouri 65212, USA.


A survey of the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons was performed to investigate the perceptions and experiences of medical malpractice litigation and related concerns among its active members. Responses showed that 78% of responding surgeons had been named as a defendant in at least 1 lawsuit alleging medical malpractice. Sixty-nine percent of lawsuits in the survey had been dismissed or settled out of court, and median settlement amounts were in the range of $51,000 to $99,000. Nerve injury was the most commonly cited source of litigation, followed by limb length discrepancy, infection, vascular injury, hip dislocation, compartment syndrome, deep vein thrombosis, chronic pain, and periprosthetic fracture. Survey data suggest that there are targets for surgeon education and awareness that could improve the quality of patient communication and the informed consent process.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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