• Woman says Ocoee doctor replaced wrong hip


    OCOEE, Fla. - A woman who underwent surgery in Ocoee is afraid to ever go into a hospital, again.

    Tina Hicks said she needed her left hip replaced.

    When she woke up in Health Central in Ocoee after surgery in February, she discovered the doctor had operated on her right hip, instead.

    Medical records show something went wrong. In the documents, post-operation, the records refer to problems and markings on her right hip.

    Hicks said when she woke up, she said it felt like they had dropped her on her right hip.

    The 39-year-old mother said she slipped and fell last year, and started having serious pain in her left hip.

    Hicks said Dr. Richard C. Smith, an orthopedic surgeon, told her that her left hip was seriously damaged.

    Documents from visits to his office pre-surgery show several references to left hip pain and problems.

    In February, she thought she was going into surgery at Health Central Hospital for a total left hip replacement.

    "I was overwhelmed, very upset. I said give me my bone back, can you do that?" Hicks said.

    Hicks said Dr. Smith apologized.

    When Channel 9 contacted Florida Center for Orthopedics, where Smith works, administrators wouldn't comment and referred WFTV to their attorney.

    Health Central issued a statement saying, "Due to federal privacy laws, we cannot publicly comment on specific patient cases."

    Florida Department of Health records show Smith does have other complaints, including one of a steroid injection in the wrong place.

    "I don't think he should be a surgeon anymore, I really don't," Hicks said.

    Health records show Orlando Health, which owns the hospital, terminated his staff privileges in 2010.

    Orlando Health wouldn't say why, or why he's still doing surgeries at the hospital.

    WFTV also left a message with Smith's office, but did not hear back from the doctor Friday.

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    Woman says Ocoee doctor replaced wrong hip