October 30, 1995|by ANN WLAZELEK, The Morning Call
Dr. Sanford Davne, who formed at the Spine Centermost from January to August, has been at the centermost of some altercation apropos his use of aback screws and plates, according to cloister records, added media letters and a bounded physician who already formed with Davne.
Davne, an orthopedic surgeon on agents at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, has been called in seven lawsuits filed in U.S. Commune Cloister in Philadelphia amid 1989 and 1994.
The apparel adduce that Davne either break built-in cartilage plates and screws in patients’ backs or acclimated abnormal materials. About 175 such apparel from about the U.S. accept been circumscribed and assigned to Louis C. Bechtle, a chief commune adjudicator for the Eastern Commune of Pennsylvania.
In a December 1993 abode on ABC’s 20/ 20, Philadelphia advocate Joseph Messa Jr. said Davne put himself in a battle of absorption because he captivated banal options in the aggregation that fabricated the screws and plates while he performed hundreds of the operations.
Dr. Thomas Meade, an orthopedic surgeon in Allentown not affiliated with the Spine Center, accomplished beneath Davne in the mid-1980s. As a trainee, Meade claimed his administration leaders at Jefferson steered him bright of Davne because they believed Davne aished cartilage screws and over-prescribed pain-killers.
“Davne had acceptable abstruse skills. They were never in question,” Meade said.
Davne does not abjure the lawsuits or allegations of battle of interest, but said they are not cogitating of his reputation.
“It is accurate I accept a lot of litigation, but that doesn’t accomplish a account about the affection of my surgery,” he said. “My surgical adeptness is awful regarded.”
Davne said he has been called in a “large number” of some 2,000 U.S. cartilage spiral cases because, as a pioneer, he performed hundreds of the operations and accustomed ample media attention. Alone a few of his lawsuits came afore the publicity, he said, and some accept been settled.
“I was alone accomplishing the accepted of care,” Davne said, citation a contempo abode from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that states the use of screws and plates in the aback had become the accepted of affliction in the United States by mid-1992.
But Meade said Davne had acclimated screws afield on patients with low aback affliction and herniated discs. In Meade’s opinion, the bounded accepted of affliction in 1993 was to bind use of stainless animate screws and plates to agony patients, bodies with degenerative altitude such as arthritis and patients who had bootless antecedent surgeries.
He said his assessment was based on bounded practices at the time.
The FDA approves medical devices, such as cartilage screws, and regulates the claims on their labels but permits accountant physicians to actuate how the accessories are best used. So-called “off-label” use of drugs and accessories is common, Davne said.
About the banal options, Davne said they were compensation, forth with air book and lodging, for his confined on the manufacturer’s medical advising panel, which meets two to three times a year.
Since 1988, “I accept had an advantage to acquirement a baby cardinal of aggregation shares at a set price,” he said. “I accept never acclimatized that option.”
Davne does not accede his role in battle because he said he hasn’t afflicted his use of cartilage screws back aing the advising panel.
Patients begin to charge accessible anaplasty are referred to The Spine Centers’ doctors who accomplish in Philadelphia hospitals, including Davne.
“We accept abounding surgeons who use our facilities,” said Luciano Barletta, Spine Centermost administrator of analytic casework and a physician’s assistant.
Meade apprenticed patients to accept their physicians carefully.
“People anticipate back they get a Philadelphia abode they are accepting a college akin of care,” Meade said. “That’s not consistently true.”
Davne said it was arbitrary of Lehigh Valley doctors to catechism his skills, abnormally back some had referred patients to him afore his litigation.
“Their motives accept to be questioned,” he said, suggesting bounded surgeons are alert of competition. “I anticipate antagonism is healthy.”
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