Florida – Orthopedic Surgery – Documentation Error Of Laceration Of Flexor Pollicis Longus Leads To Wrong Site Surgery

On 5/16/2014, a patient presented to an orthopedic outpatient surgery center with a left-hand work-related injury.  During the visit, an orthopedic surgeon properly diagnosed the patient with a flexor pollicis longus (FPL) tendon laceration of her left thumb.

The FPL tendon laceration was confirmed by the MRI scan performed on the patient on 7/3/2014.

On 8/7/2014, during the follow-up visit, the orthopedic surgeon wrongly documented the patient’s injury as an extensor pollicis longus (EPL) tendon laceration in the patient’s medical records

Consequently, on 9/10/2014, the patient presented to the orthopedic surgeon at the center, for an EPL tendon surgery (the wrong site, and/or medically unnecessary procedure) of her left thumb.  During the EPL tendon surgery, the orthopedic surgeon realized that the FPL tendon laceration repair should have been performed on the patient instead.  On 10/10/2014, the orthopedic surgeon performed the FPL tendon laceration repair on the patient’s left thumb.

The Board ordered the orthopedic surgeon pay a fine of $3,000 to the Board. Also, the Board ordered the orthopedic surgeon pay a reimbursement cost of $4,670.40.  The Board ordered that the orthopedic surgeon complete five hours of continuing medical education in “Risk Management.”  The Board ordered that the orthopedic surgeon complete one hour of lecture on wrong site procedure.

State: Florida

Date: December 2017

Specialty: Orthopedic Surgery

Symptom: N/A

Diagnosis: Musculoskeletal Disease, Trauma Injury

Medical Error: Wrong site procedure, Lack of proper documentation

Significant Outcome: N/A

Case Rating: 3

Link to Original Case File: Download PDF

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