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Negligence settlement for hip replacement patient

31.08.2012

Hip replacement surgery is one of the most common procedures performed in the UK, often to resolve issues of debilitating pain and restricted mobility.

For many people, a hip replacement offers them a new lease of life. But sometimes things go wrong and we’re only too aware of how distressing it can be when the procedure leads to complications and further suffering.

Fortunately serious mistakes are rare; however as the case study below demonstrates, we have the expertise to support those who have been affected.

Case study – Mrs R

Following a successful replacement of her right hip in 2007, our client underwent replacement of her left hip the following year.

After the operation, Mrs R was in severe pain. X-rays identified lengthening of her left leg by approx. 2.5cm and a nerve injury which had caused a foot drop. She was given a splint and her shoe was built up to correct the leg length discrepancy.

She was advised that it would take up to 12 months for the nerve to heal and the foot drop to resolve.

It was later determined that the surgeon hadn’t inserted the hip prosthesis far enough into Mrs R’s thigh bone and this had lengthened her leg. The surgeon had also damaged the sciatic nerve by over-stretching it during the operation.

In the long-term Mrs R suffered ongoing pain and persistent discomfort in her left leg. She continued to have mobility problems and the foot drop didn’t resolve completely.

As well as permanent numbness in her foot, her leg length discrepancy gave her back pain and prevented her from walking normally. She also needed a motorised scooter for anything other than very short distances.

As a result of the negligence and her physical injuries, Mrs R also suffered a psychological reaction, developing agoraphobia, an anxiety and panic disorder, which required cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

This case was conducted by Claire Levene of our specialist clinical negligence team. It ultimately settled for a six-figure sum – this took into account expenses already incurred by our client as the result of her injuries, likely expenses in the future and compensation for her pain and suffering.

Further information

If you’d like to speak to a member of the medical negligence team about a potential surgical or hip replacement claim, call us on 0117 925 8080.

A member of our team will discuss the circumstances of your case and tell you if we believe you have a basis for a claim. We will provide you with a range of options, including whether we can offer you a no-win, no-fee agreement.

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