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Case study: £1.3 million hip injury compensation

Our client’s hip problem went undiagnosed after a poorly conducted X-ray

Our client was a young man in his teens when he began to suffer from pain in his legs, particularly on his right side. He visited his doctor who referred him for an X-ray at hospital to see what the problem could be.

The X-ray came back confirming that there was no problem with the teenager’s legs. Yet he continued to suffer pain in the months that followed and visited his GP again. The GP was concerned that, despite the results of the X-ray, his patient might be suffering from a slipped hip – a fracture through the growth plate at the end of the thigh bone. This sort of injury most commonly occurs around puberty when teenagers are growing.

A second X-ray was later conducted, this time confirming the diagnosis as a slipped hip injury. Five days later the young man was having surgery on his right hip, and a month later he underwent another operation on his left hip.

Had the first X-ray been conducted and analysed correctly, it would have shown evidence of an early injury. Our client could have then had a pinning operation on both hips, which would having prevented either slipping further. He could have been discharged the same day, spent six weeks on crutches and then, most likely, he would have made a full recovery.

Instead, when the young man was discharged he continued to suffer from pain, instability and weakness on both sides. The head of his thigh bone was rubbing abnormally, preventing a normal range of movement.

We guided the young man and his family through the process, bringing together a team of medical and legal experts to assess his injuries and needs.

Securing compensation for the hip injury

On the advice of medical experts, a form of keyhole surgery known as a hip arthroscopy was recommended. Our client had the surgery on both hips in separate operations. The treatment led to some improvement but the young man still has significant disabilities and a poor prognosis for his future condition.

Medical evidence suggests that he will need three rounds of hip replacement surgery on each side later in life – a total of six further operations.

The young man also had a promising career as a carpenter ahead of him. His injuries mean that this is no longer an option for him and, although he has found some shop work thanks to a sympathetic employer, his earning potential has been significantly reduced.

Needless to say, this traumatic experience has also caused our client psychological symptoms including depression, phobia and an Adjustment Disorder.

On our client’s behalf, we issued a claim for past and future losses, taking into account his pain and suffering, loss of earnings, need for specialist support and physical disabilities. We guided the young man and his family through the process, bringing together a team of medical and legal experts to assess his injuries and needs.

Through determined negotiation with the hospital’s lawyers, we were ultimately able to settle out of court for a figure of £1.3 million. This sum won’t repair the young man’s disability, but it will at least help him manage its consequences as he progresses through life.

If you or a family member have experienced avoidable medical problems because of an X-ray error or other diagnosis mistake, our medical negligence solicitors are here to help you. If you’d like to speak to a specialist solicitor with experience in delayed diagnosis compensation claims, call us on 0117 325 2929  or complete our online enquiry form.

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