The canula tip measured approximately 4 millimeters in length.
TONYA NELMS AND JACKIE NELMS
DR. KENNETH MARTIN, ET AL.
September 26, 2007
APPEAL FR O M TH E DR EW
COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT
HON. ROBERT B. GIBSON, JR.,
ROBERT J. GLADWIN, Judge
Appellants Tonya and Jackie Nelms, husband and wife, appeal the Drew County
Circuit Court’s October 21, 2004 judgment dismissing their complaint for malpractice
pursuant to a motion for summary judgment filed by appellees Dr. Kenneth Martin and U.S.
Orthopedic Surgical Center. Appellants contend on appeal that the trial court committed
reversible error as a matter of law by granting the appellees’ motion. We affirm.
Appellant Tonya Nelms underwent arthroscopic surgery on her left knee on
September 7, 1999. Appellee Dr. Kenneth Martin performed the surgery, and he
inadvertently left the tip of a canula, which is a small flexible tube that encloses the scope or
camera that is used to inspect the knee arthroscopically, in Mrs. Nelms’s knee. On September
14, 1999, Mrs. Nelms returned to Dr. Martin’s office and complained of mild pain, which is
expected after undergoing arthroscopic surgery. On October 28, 1999, Mrs. Nelms returned
for another office visit complaining of pain in her knee, which Dr. Martin attributed to
incomplete rehabilitation and significant muscle atrophy. On November 2, 1999, Dr. Martin
discovered that one of his nurses had taken an x-ray of Mrs. Nelms’s knee on October 28,
1999, which revealed the presence of a metallic fragment in the superior lateral aspect of the
knee that appeared to be consistent with the tip of a canula. Dr. Martin located the type of
canula that had been used during Mrs. Nelms’s surgery and discovered that the canula was not
a solid piece of metal, but instead consisted of two pieces. Upon discovering this, Dr. Martin
immediately called Mrs. Nelms and explained that the tip of the canula used during her
arthroscopy had broken, and aske