Orthopaedic surgeons and the legal tightrope: safeguarding patient welfare amidst rising litigation


  • Arjun Ganesh Department of Orthopaedics, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher education and Research, Porur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • M. Mohan Kumar Department of Orthopaedics, Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher education and Research, Porur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India




Orthopaedic surgeons , Legal tightrope, Litigation


Medicolegal litigation is a critical aspect of orthopaedic practice. These disputes can arise due to a variety of reasons, including medical negligence, malpractice, and breach of duty. Orthopaedic surgeons are at risk of being involved in medicolegal cases due to the nature of their work, which involves complex surgical procedures and postoperative care. They are required to manage a wide range of cases, from minor fractures to complex spinal and joint surgeries. As with any medical field, orthopaedic surgery being a complex and dynamic medical specialty; carries with it a certain amount of legal responsibility, with litigation rates on the rise globally. This article aims to provide an overview of the areas in orthopaedics where medicolegal litigation is highest and highlight some of the strategies that can be employed to reduce the risk of litigation.


Sivarasu S, Mohan M, Rajasekaran S. Litigation related to total joint replacement surgery: an analysis of 101 cases. J Arthroplasty. 2007;22(8):1141-7.

Singh K, Gupta A, Jain VK. Medico-legal cases in spinal surgery: an Indian scenario. Indian J Orthop. 2013;47(3):227-31.

Klement MR, Sauer S, Hahn P. The orthopaedic surgeon in court: An analysis of medical malpractice claims in Germany. Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol. 2020;30(1):59-66.

Goldstein RY, Hresko MT, Szymanski KM, Sampson NR. Pediatric Orthopaedic Malpractice: A Comprehensive Analysis. J Pediatr Orthop. 2019;39(10):e734-8.

McCarty EC, Eischen JJ, Thomas FP. Malpractice in sports medicine. Clin J Sport Med. 1997;7(4):256-61.

Lisle DA, Abudu A, Grimer RJ. Medico-legal claims in orthopaedic oncology. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2007;89(3):321-3.

Singh K, Muzumdar U, Singh S. Medical devices and implants: A medico-legal analysis of cases in India. J Long Term Eff Med Implants. 2015;25(4):295-303.

Nath RK, Somasundaram C. Medical litigation in orthopaedics: An Indian perspective. J Clin Orthop Trauma. 2017;8(1):S33-S37.

Singh H, Naik M, Rao KD. Medico-legal cases in orthopaedics: An Indian perspective. J Patient Saf Infect Control. 2017;5(2):40-44.






Letter to the Editor