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Woman Sues Doctor, Hospital After Screws Were Misplaced in Her Spine

— May 10, 2019

A lawsuit was recently filed against Dr. Anil Kumar Kesani of Tarrant County hospital over allegations the doctor misplaced a handful of screws in her spine.

Have you ever had to undergo surgery for something? If so, chances are you had the expectation that your surgical team would take good care of you throughout the procedure. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. For example, Lesa Swanson recently filed a lawsuit against Dr. Anil Kumar Kesani over allegations that when she underwent surgery at a Tarrant County hospital, the doctor “misplaced four screws in her spine.” As a result, Swanson alleges the doctor’s actions “caused permanent damage to her spine.”

Model of a spine
Model of a spine; image courtesy of jochenpippir via Pixabay,

The incident occurred at Baylor Medical Center on April 27, 2017. During the spinal surgery, Kesani allegedly “misplaced four of six screws in Swanson’s back.” Of those screws, three “went directly into Swanson’s spinal nerves,” according to the suit. An x-ray of Swanson’s spine later revealed the screws were “severely and obviously incorrectly positioned.”

Dr. J. Bob Blacklock commented on the matter and said, “this represents the worst screw placement I have ever seen in a lumbar spine.” Blacklock is a neurosurgeon at the Texas Medical Center in Houston and his report is being included in the court documents for the lawsuit. He also noted that, in Kesani’s post-surgical report, the doctor reported the “screws were in the correct position.” Blacklock said:

“These grossly improper placements were clearly demonstrated on a final fluoroscopic image taken in the operating room, yet nothing was done to remediate this terrible situation…Dr. Kesani either did not understand this imaging, understood it and ignored it, or did not see it.”

Swanson knew something was wrong shortly after she awoke from surgery. According to the suit, when she woke up, she experienced “severe pain, numbness, and weakness. A day later, Kesani ordered a CT of Swanson’s spine, “which again showed the misplaced screws.” Instead of owning up to his mistake, however, he didn’t tell Swanson “the screws were misplaced.” Instead, he told her she had to undergo another surgery. During the second surgery on April 28, “Kesani removed two of the screws in Swanson’s spine,” but doing so “caused a cavity to form near Swanson’s spine and sent scattered bone through the right side of the spinal canal,” according to the suit.

Following the second surgery, another CT scan was ordered that “showed the bone debris in Swanson’s back, but Kesani ignored it.” In fact, he failed to “explain what happened during the first surgery and documented Swanson had normal strength and sensation when that was clearly not the case,” the lawsuit states.

Post-surgery, Swanson continued to experience pain, though Kesani was allegedly “uninterested in hearing her symptoms.” Todd Smith, Swanson’s lawyer, said:

“I truly cannot imagine what the doctor’s explanation will be for why he placed three screws directly into the nerves in Ms. Swanson’s spinal canal and then failed to accurately communicate to his patient what he had done.”

Later, in July 2017, Swanson visited a different doctor so a surgery meant to address her severe lower back pain. Even after that surgery, she “still cannot feel her right foot, her right calf or part of her right thigh at all, and she cannot stand on her right foot alone without falling,” according to the suit. As a result, she is seeking more than $1 million in damages.


North Texas doctor misplaced 4 screws in woman’s spine and lied about it, lawsuit says

North Texas doctor incorrectly placed 4 screws in woman’s spine

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