Woman claims doctor performed unnecessary spinal surgery

Kelly Holleran Aug. 27, 2012, 11:58am

A woman claims her doctor performed an unnecessary spinal surgery on her, which allegedly exacerbated her medical problems.

Deborah O'Neal filed a lawsuit Aug. 7 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Dr. William W. Sprich, Neurological Surgery of Southern Illinois and Belleville Memorial Hospital.

In her complaint, O'Neal alleges she was seeing Sprich to treat her lower back pain. He recommended she undergo a spinal surgery, called a lumbar discectomy, which he performed on Aug. 12, 2010, according to the complaint.

However, the surgery was not necessary and caused O'Neal neurological deficits, pain and nerve damages, the suit states. She also experienced severe pain and suffering, lost her ability to enjoy life, incurred medical costs and lost wages because of the operation, the complaint says.

O'Neal blames the defendants for contributing to her deteriorating condition, saying they negligently placed screws in her spine, performed an unnecessary surgery and failed to warn her of the risks of the surgery.

In her three-count complaint, O'Neal seeks a judgment in excess of the minimum jurisdictional limits, plus costs.

Thomas G. Kemper of Butler and Kemper in Granite City will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-407.

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