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Surgery made injury worse!
This is about my husband. He was injured on the job last year. His thumb became immobile. The doctor determined he had suffered nerve damage and the nerve was somehow pinched or blocked and required surgery. We were told the surgery was straight forward and the recovery was routine. 2 months after surgery my husband can't move 3 fingers and make certain critical movements with his hand. He has little strength in that hand and forearm and there is muscle atrophy. Outside of his day job, my husband is a professional pianist and a recording artist (had 2 top-10 Billboard hits) and has a catalog of 100s of published songs. He has not been able to play piano since the surgery and is worried about not having full mobility going forward.

The doctor says the nerves will grow back in time. This is the same thing he said about my husbands original thumb injury but that nerve did not grow back and that is why the surgery was supposedly necessary. Now he is worse off and when he asked the doctor what the reason for more fingers being impaired he was only told the nerves would grow back. Then the doctor suggested he get him back at work under modified work (which is at lower pay and a desk job that is not the type of job my husband signed up for.)

We do not know what to think about the situation because most importantly we do not know if the symptoms my husband is experiencing are normal for this surgery or if the surgery was botched and he is now in worse condition than he started. All this time I have advised my husband not to get a workman's comp attorney because I handled my own workman's comp claim very satisfactory some years ago and we are not opportunists looking for a payout but just want my husband's hand to get back to what it was and to get back on his feet at his job/career. Now we are thinking that he may need to get representation and we aren't sure if this is merely a workman's comp claim or a malpractice/personal injury claim as well. He is also concerned about returning to lower paid modified work for several reasons but would like to use his time preparing or retraining for a different occupation where he will not re-injure his hand. We have been told that WC does not offer occupational retraining anymore but has a voucher capped at 10k for some cases.

My husband was also concerned because his physical therapist was reporting incorrect data to workmans comp which showed an improvement in mobility on paper when, in fact, his movement per their tests was diminishing. I had him write a letter refuting their errors and they did reissue their report with corrections.

I don't even know where to begin with this except that I advised my husband to ask Workman's comp to send him to another surgeon for a second opinion on his hand and its prognosis. I'm not sure what approach he should use toward his job because either way it does not look like a good idea to return to a job where he will injure his hand so he might as well start looking elsewhere or retraining at something less risky. Further, we do not know if his hand is permanently worse than when he started with workman's comp. The NP they assigned him is more of a nuisance than anything and no help at all.

Any advice?
he can change doctors within the Medical Provider Network at any time.
if your husband has reason to believe an avoidable error was made during surgery, he can discuss the situation with a malpractice lawyer.
workers compensation will be entitled to reimbursement for their costs on the claim.

if only the doctor's opinion/prediction was wrong, then there is not much of a malpractice case as the law does not require perfect judgement.
Reminder :
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information. Use the search feature to find information from similar questions.

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