Patient claims she endured months of pain following surgery

By Kelly Holleran | Dec 3, 2012

An Illinois woman is blaming her doctor for the months of excruciating lower back pain she claims she endured following a surgery that was supposed to correct her problems.

Heather and Christopher Cooper filed a lawsuit Nov. 7 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Dr. William Sprich and M.S.A. Alliance doing business as Neurological Surgery of Southern Illinois.

The Coopers allege Sprich performed a radical endoscopically-assisted discectomy on Heather Cooper on Jan. 25, 2011. The procedure is generally performed to remove a herniated disc that presses against a nerve root or spinal cord.

However, following the surgery, Heather Cooper continued to experience low back pain, headaches, lower extremity pain, lower extremity numbness and tingling and had to take pain medications, according to the complaint.

Although Heather Cooper reported her complaints to her doctor, repeated radiological imaging of her spine done in January, February, March and April of 2011 failed to reveal any problems, the suit states.

Finally, a CT scan taken on April 29, 2011, showed screws implanted into Heather Cooper’s spine had come into contact with her nerve roots and theral sac, causing the pain she continued to experience, the complaint says.

Because of Sprich’s alleged actions, Cooper claims she incurred substantial medical costs, experienced extreme pain and suffering and lost income and her earning capacity. She also claims she suffered an increased risk of harm, suffered severe emotional distress and depression and endured anguish, according to the complaint.

Cooper blames Sprich for causing her injuries, saying he negligently misplaced the screws in her back, failed to detect the misplacement of the screws and failed to order diagnostic quality radiological imaging.
M.S.A. Alliance is also named as a defendant because it employed Sprich at the time of Cooper’s surgery.

In her four-count complaint, Cooper seeks a judgment of more than $200,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

Rachel L. Roman, David M. Zevan and Kevin J. Davidson of The Zevan and Davidson Law Firm in St. Louis will be representing her.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-601.

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