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Surgical Femoral Nerve Injury

Surgical Femoral Nerve Injury

If your surgery has resulted in damage to your femoral nerve, you may be finding it difficult to walk. If the injury is the result of poor quality care, you may want to think about making a claim for compensation.

What is the femoral nerve and why does it matter?

The femoral nerve is a major nerve that originates in the lumbar (lower) region of the back, extends down the thighs and serves the skin and muscles of the thigh and the muscle which allows the knees to extend.

If the femoral nerve is damaged, it may create difficulty with all functions of the leg such as standing, walking and running. It may also cause problems with sensation in the feet and thighs.

These effects can obviously be both debilitating and dangerous.

What damage can be done?

Damage to or pressure on the femoral nerve can interrupt the blood supply, affecting the functioning of the nerve.

This effect may only be short-lived and may resolve on its own but, in some cases, the damage is permanent leading to long-term disability.

Signs that the femoral nerve may be under pressure could include the following:

  • Difficulty in extending the knee
  • Tingling or numbness of the thigh
  • Muscle weakness in the leg
  • Abdominal pain

Recovery, where possible, may take weeks or months. However, where the nerve is cut, recovery may not be possible.

How can the femoral nerve be injured?

The femoral nerve can become damaged for a number of reasons other than through accidental surgical damage. A fall causing a hip or pelvic fracture could damage the nerve as could the growth of a tumour in the area of the nerve.

Diabetes has also been associated with the development of femoral nerve injury due to changes in blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

A significant number of femoral nerve injuries are, however, caused as a result of direct injury during surgery. Many forms of surgery in the abdominal and pelvic region could present this hazard. This could include the following:

  • Gynaecological surgery, particularly hysterectomy operations
  • Abdominal surgery of varying types
  • Pelvic surgery
  • Repair of a fistula
  • The placement of a catheter into the femoral artery
  • A hip replacement

Injury to the femoral nerve can happen during surgery due to inappropriate positioning of the patient, incorrect incision location or inappropriate use of equipment.

Is it medical negligence?

Nerve injury is a recognised risk of many types of surgery and does not necessarily constitute medical negligence.

As mentioned above, it may resolve easily. On the other hand, it may be that the patient is left with a life-long disability, affecting their ability to lead a normal social, domestic and professional life.

If it can be proved that the surgeon has provided a substandard level of care, perhaps through choice of method or positioning of the patient, the patient may be able to make a claim for compensation for pain and suffering.

Speak to a solicitor

If you continue to suffer the effects of a femoral nerve injury due to poor medical care, contact Glynns Solicitors to discuss your experience. We are a specialist medical negligence practice and would be happy to discuss the possibility of making a claim for compensation.

Call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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