Boyes Turner’s medical negligence specialists have secured a settlement of £550,000 for a woman in her 50s who was left with permanent disability after negligent hip and knee replacement surgery. After a hip replacement operation the claimant noticed that her left leg was shorter than her right. Initially she was told that her condition was normal but after continued gait problems she was advised to have a left partial knee replacement.
When her problems increased following the surgery on her knee she sought a second opinion. The second consultant advised her that owing to poor surgical technique at the previous surgery, further operations would need to take place.
Her care was reviewed by the Royal College of Surgeons, who confirmed that the hip operation had been performed incorrectly. They questioned the decision to carry out the knee replacement which, they said, had been so poorly performed that it had led to a valgus (twisted outward) deformity, causing pain and instability. The claimant was left unable to walk even short distances without an aid.
Boyes Turner agreed to help the claimant with a claim. We contacted the defendant NHS hospital and obtained an early admission of liability in relation to negligence at both the hip and knee operations.
However, the defendant initially refused to consent to judgment being entered until full court proceedings had been issued and served. Judgment was then entered whilst the full extent of the claimant’s disability was assessed following revision surgery to the claimant’s left hip and knee.
Our client has permanent shortening of her left leg, wasting of her gluteal muscles, a weakened left hip, ongoing pain and restricted movement in her hip and knee, and pain in her lower back.
Her mobility is reduced, she needs orthotics and a stick to walk short distances. She uses a mobility scooter outdoors. Her condition is such that no further surgery is possible in the hip but further knee revision will be required.
Her function will continue to deteriorate and she will become more disabled. Over time she will need adapted housing as she becomes wheelchair dependent.
She is unable to work in her previous employment and needs increasing help with maintaining her home and garden. Her leisure activities have been curtailed. She suffers from ongoing mild to moderate depression.
Having obtained expert evidence and prepared the case for trial, Boyes Turner then reassessed the value of the claim following the recent change to the discount rate. The claim has now settled in the sum of £550,000. There was no charge to our client.