Francesco La Sala1, *, Bartolo Caggiano2


1Medico legal Specialist, ASL Avellino, Avellino, Italy - 2Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy


Introduction: In recent decades, attention to patient safety and potential medical activity-related risks has significantly increased. There are many examples of such attention in the literature aimed at reducing and eliminating risks related to medical-surgical activities. The aim of this article is to report a clinical event that occurred during hip replacement surgery, resulting in a nerve injury with negative consequences.

Case presentation: A 65-year-old woman undergoes surgery to place a right hip prosthesis due to considerable pain and functional problems. Following this operation, the patient experienced mobility difficulties, and, by means of an electromyographic examination, a lesion to the femoral nerve was detected. A legal analysis of the issue determined that this lesion could have been avoided with careful surgical practice and other elements of clinical risk management.

Discussion: Although it is difficult to achieve total elimination of medical practice - especially surgery-related - risks, adequate procedures and pathways can be implemented in order to contain such clinical risks in the hospital setting.


Nerve injury, risk management, hip replacement, surgery, malpractice.