Avoiding Complications in Arthroscopic Surgery

Elliott H. Leitman, MD, and Thomas B. Fleeter, MD

Not all medical complications result in litigation. According to an AAOS member survey, postoperative complications that resulted in litigation included deep vein thrombosis (DVT), infection, or persistent pain following knee arthroscopy. Technical errors, including implant failures and nerve injury, were also common causes of litigation.

Consumer demand for arthroscopic solutions to orthopaedic ailments has increased, due to the public’s perception of arthroscopic surgery as having minimal risk and the increase in the range of problems that can be treated arthroscopically. Although surgical expertise has minimized complications and improved outcomes, arthroscopic surgery is not without risk.

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