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Nerve damage can occur in patients that have had Infuse® Bone Graft inserted into them during a procedure, especially if the device is inserted improperly, deteriorates or has leakage. The main component of the product is bone morphogenetic protein-2. This protein promotes and causes the growth of new bone. If this protein leaks out of the designated area, it can cause ectopic bone growth. This unwanted bone can grow in areas where there are nerves, thus causing nerve damage.
The nerve damage caused by the ectopic bone can result in numerous conditions and include other parts of the body experiencing pain. Nerve damage symptoms can include weak muscles in the arms, legs or even in the mouth (muscles necessary for speech). Twitching is another symptom of nerve damage and is usually found in the hands or feet. There could also be symptoms of muscle cramping. Nerve damage can be extremely painful, causing nauseating pain in the affected area or even surrounding areas. An imbalance of walking or other movement can occur. In extreme cases of nerve damage, motor control is completely lost. There are no feelings or sensation in the area or surrounding areas. This could lead to sexual, bladder and bowel dysfunction. If any of these symptoms occur, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. There is a chance that physical therapy or other medical procedures could assist in the improvement of the situation. Also, in some rare cases, a Spinal Cord Stimulator could be necessary to relieve the nerve pain.
The chances for nerve damage in a traditional spinal fusion procedure are 1 in 10,000. While, the chances vary for nerve damage in a spinal fusion procedure using Infuse® Bone Graft, the rates are much higher when the procedure is off-label or an extremely high dosage of bone morphogenetic protein-2 is used. Speaking with a doctor will help a patient to better understand their risks of nerve damage when undergoing a spinal fusion procedure that uses Infuse® Bone Graft; furthermore, if the procedure is off-label, a patient needs to be even more aware of the potential risks as most insurance companies do not cover these unsanctioned surgeries.
If you or someone you know suffered painful injuries after being implanted with a Medtronic Infuse Bone Graft device, you may have valuable legal rights. We’re here to answer any questions you may have. For a free case review, please fill out our online form or call our office at 727-397-9198.