Spinal Cement Injuries at Issue in New Lawsuit

A Texas man has filed a lawsuit against the maker of a brand of spinal cement, accusing the product of leaking into his pulmonary arteries and causing him to suffer respiratory problems following surgery.

Adam Lee Crawford’s personal injury lawsuit accuses Smith and Nephew Inc., the maker of Spine-Fix Biomimetic Bone Cement, of causing his injuries after vertebroplasty surgery in August 2008. According to Crawford’s suit, a company representative who was in the operating room during surgery advising the surgeon on the use of the product gave improper instructions to the physician, resulting in injury.

Spinal cement is a medical product that is commonly injected into broken vertebrae to repair cracks or fractures in the bones of the spine. The product holds the fracture in place until the bone can regenerate and mend the fracture on its own.

However, many patients who have undergone vertebroplasty or another form of spinal surgery using bone cement products have complained of complications when the products leak into the blood stream or other areas of the body. Respiratory and heart failure are among the injuries reported.

“The cement, if leaked outside of the vertebrae space, can travel into the pulmonary arteries causing blockages and severe breathing problems similar to those that this plaintiff has experienced,” Crawford’s lawsuit states, according to a report in the Southeast Texas Record.

Crawford is accusing the defendants of negligence and breach of warranties for failing to warn him, his physician, or the public that the bone cement product was not safe. The defendant also is allegedly negligent for failing to provide proper instruction, guidance, or monitoring the application of the cement, according to the suit.

Crawford is seeking undisclosed financial damages for medical expenses, physical pain, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity and physical impairment. His suit has been assigned to U.S. District Judge T. John Ward in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

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