Kelly Holleran Jun. 18, 2013, 4:24pm

A Bethalto woman says she has continually experienced pain in her foot after her doctor failed to properly treat her condition.

Debra I. Freeman and her husband, Gary E. Freeman, filed a lawsuit June 13 in Madison County Circuit Court against Dr. Lindsay D. Barth and Next Step Foot and Ankle Centers.

In their complaint, the Freemans allege Barth performed surgery on Debra Freeman’s foot on Oct. 20, 2009. The procedure, called a triple arthrodesis of the left foot, was meant to relieve pain in the rear part of Debra Freeman’s foot by fusing the three main joints of the hindfoot, according to the complaint.

From Oct. 27, 2009, through June 14, 2011, Debra Freeman continued to see Barth for follow-up appointments. During these visits, Debra Freeman continually complained that her foot was still painful and bothering her, the suit states. However, Barth assured her that she was progressing fine, the complaint says.

Finally, when she could no longer continue to endure extreme pain, she elected to visit another doctor, who informed her that she was suffering from a non-union of her foot. A non-union is a fracture that has failed to heal.

Because of Barth’s treatment, Debra Freeman claims she became sick, sore, lame and disordered; experienced pain and suffering; and incurred substantial medical costs. She also experienced disability, lost wages and her earning capacity and suffered disfigurement, according to the complaint.

Debra Freeman’s husband says he lost his wife’s society, companionship, love, affection and support because of her injury.

Debra Freeman blames Barth for contributing to her injuries, saying he negligently failed to recognize the symptoms consistent with a non-union of her foot, failed to undertake proper testing, failed to timely refer Debra Freeman to a specialist, failed to inform Debra Freeman of the risks associated with a non-union, failed to timely treat the non-union and informed Debra Freeman that her post-operation progress was going well when he knew it was not.

In their complaint, the Freemans seek a judgment of more than $200,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Dr. Jeffrey Ezra of Ezra and Associates in Collinsville will be representing them.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-991.

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