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Robert, a 46 year old plumber, suffered a rupture of his patella (knee cap) tendon following a slip and fall whilst walking his dog. Despite the tell tale signs of a loud cracking noise at the time of the fall, an inability to raise his leg straight at hospital, and a high knee cap on x ray, his rupture was missed. Robert was diagnosed as having suffered a soft tissue injury and discharged, he was subsequently reassured by his GP and referred for physiotherapy. 

Physiotherapy did not improve his condition and he was eventually seen by an orthopaedic consultant eight weeks after his injury. Robert’s ruptured patella tendon was diagnosed and repaired. However after this he required arthroscopy and quadricepsplasty and was unable to continue to work as a plumber as he was unable to kneel.

The delay in diagnosis meant that what would have been a relatively straight forward operation to reattach the tendon became much more complicated as during the eight weeks scar tissue had formed and the tendon had fully retracted. Although for the first year or so after the repair operation he was able to work, there was increasing wear (due to bad alignment of the knee cap). This eventually led to increasing stiffness and pain and Robert had to give up his work as a plumber.

The case was settled two weeks before trial for £200,000 - the majority of the compensation being for loss of earnings.