Simple Surgery Leads to Amputation for San Diego Man

One Southern California man is suing a San Diego doctor's office after his simple orthopaedic surgery went wrong and resulted in an amputation. 

San Diego resident Mike Szabo said it all started with a throbbing pain he felt in his pinky finger after playing a game of hurling. 

Szabo said he initially ignored the pain, and by the time he went to see Dr. Drew Peterson at California Orthopaedic Institute, the doctor told him he would require a simple surgery.

"He said that it was dislocated and I small fracture in the joint and because it had been dislocated and because it had been dislocated for 8 weeks it would require a simple surgery,” Szabo said. 

Szabo had the surgery, but he said that soon after he got the feeling something wasn't right.

"I started having this throbbing, burning pain,” said Szabo. 

He called the doctor's office to complain, but said he didn't speak to the doctor but someone else who told him not to worry.

"I asked her should I remove the bandage because I feel like it's too tight and she said no don't remove the bandage because it could risk infection,” Szabo said. 

He said the pain persisted and even got worse. He called the office again and was told the same thing. It wasn't until nearly two weeks later at his post-operation appointment that he knew the pain was serious.

"They removed the bandage and my finger was just jet black, like a lump of charcoal,” Szabo said. "He didn't give me much advice or explanation of what was going on. He just said we'll monitor it.”

Szabo said he decided to get a second opinion and found his black finger was an infection.

"They said it was dry gangrene, so it basically had died from lack of blood supply,” said Szabo. He said he had to have his pinky finger amputated from the joint up.

Szabo has now filed suit against the Doctor's office and the doctor claiming negligence.

NBC 7 reached out to the doctor's office. The office's attorney, Kyle Cruse, said in a statement, “This case is a prime example of a frivolous lawsuit. All the medical professionals complied with the standard of care and treated the patient appropriately."

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