An orthopedic surgeon and a veterinarian were notified Monday that two patients have filed lawsuits alleging medical negligence in their knee surgeries. The lawsuits also contend the doctors failed to disclose the surgeries were experimental.

James Stannard, medical director for the Mizzou Biojoint Center, and James Cook, director of operations and scientific director of the center, developed an alternative to artificial joint replacements. The surgical procedure uses natural tissue grafts from donors in knee, hip and other joint replacements.

The lawsuit alleges the doctors performed Mizzou Biojoint knee surgeries on the two plaintiffs, Amanda Reinsch and Daniel Draper, without telling them the surgery was experimental.

When contacted for comment, a representative for MU Health Care said both Stannard and Cook were unable to comment on pending litigation.

According to the lawsuit filed Friday in the 13th Judicial Circuit of Missouri, neither doctor told either patient that Cook, who performed parts of the surgery, was not a medical doctor nor a licensed physician at the time of the surgeries.

The suit alleges that Stannard failed to tell the patients they were not proper candidates for the surgery. According to the case file, Draper’s and Reinsch’s body mass indexes were both above 35, and Reinsch was not nicotine free.

According to the Mizzou Biojoint Center website, the ideal candidate is younger than 55 and nicotine free, with a BMI of less than 35.

Draper was an active-duty member of the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Leonard Wood in June 2014 when he complained to a physician about back pain. Having a history of knee problems, Draper was referred to Stannard, who recommended Mizzou Biojoint surgery.

Stannard and Cook performed the surgery the following April. The lawsuit states that Stannard recommended a second Mizzou Biojoint surgery, reportedly because that surgery was not successful.

According to the lawsuit, the second surgery was also unsuccessful, and Draper eventually underwent a total knee replacement at Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital.

The lawsuit claims Draper has lost the ability to continue his career in the military and no longer can live independently.

Reinsch is a mother of six and a former professional boxer. The lawsuit states that Reinsch, who had received knee injections and had a history of knee problems, met with Stannard in January 2016 for follow-up care. Stannard recommended the Mizzou Biojoint surgery, according to the case file.

Stannard and Cook performed the surgery the following May. After reporting pain and undergoing two follow-up surgeries, the lawsuit asserts, Reinsch sought a second opinion.

The physician recommended and performed a total knee replacement. The lawsuit maintains tissue taken from that surgery indicated that Reinsch’s knee was infected with staph bacteria. The lawsuit also states Reinsch has suffered irreversible and permanent damage to her left knee.

Supervising editor is Jeanne Abbott: abbottjm@missouri.edu, 882-5741.

  • Public Life reporter, Spring 2018, Studying data journalism. Reach me at ajdkv5@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5720

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