Orthopaedics

Death following complications of knee replacement procedure

Our client’s late husband contracted MRSA at the site of a knee replacement. Although the infection was treated with appropriate antibiotics the infection recurred on several occasions and ultimately necessitated the amputation of the deceased’s leg. Unfortunately the deceased had been so weakened by the effects of the recurrent infection that he ultimately succumbed to bronchopneumonia before he was able to leave hospital. The deceased was hospitalised for seven months, much of it in isolation, from the knee replacement procedure to the date of his untimely death. We represented our client at the Inquest into her husband’s death. Following the Inquest it was admitted by the Defendant Trust that the deceased should have been screened for MRSA before the knee replacement procedure. It was, however, denied by the Trust that this would have made any difference. The Trust argued, through its lawyers, that the MRSA infection would have occurred in any event. Although the Defendant continued to deny that any negligence had caused the death it was ultimately persuaded to settle the claim for £32,500

Infection contracted at time of surgery

Our client underwent surgery to lengthen his right leg and thereby correct a discrepancy in leg lengths, which had been causing him significant back pain. Unfortunately our client contracted an infection in the operation wound and went on to require numerous subsequent procedures to deal with the infection and ultimately the leg lengthening procedure had to be reversed.

It was alleged, and admitted by the Defendant, that it was negligent not to have operated on our client in a non clean air theatre; that it was negligent for a key member of the surgical team to have been on-call and therefore called away during what was a complex procedure; and that it was negligent not to have followed the advice of the microbiology consultant regarding appropriate antibiotics. However, it was contended by the Defendant that our client would have suffered an infection in any event; that the vast majority of our client’s symptoms were the result of a pre-existing back injury and not the infection; and that the only consequence of the admitted negligence was that it took longer to control the infection than would otherwise have been the case. These issues remained in dispute, but it was possible to negotiate an out of court settlement in the sum of £200,000.

Hip replacement

We successfully recovered £30,000 for a lady who suffered injury as a result of alleged negligence during revision of a total hip replacement. The allegations related to surgical care, technique and management of infection post operatively.

Negligent Shoulder Replacement

We successfully recovered £13,000 for injury sustained when undergoing Shoulder replacement surgery which included the need to undergo unnecessary revision surgery of left shoulder replacement. It was alleged that as a result of negligent care the Surgeon broached the cortex of the humerus when undergoing left elbow replacement surgery resulting in mild protrusion, slight immobility at extremes of movement and an increased risk that the prosthesis will loosen resulting in the need to undergo further revision surgery.

Hip replacement

We acted for a claimant who underwent a hip replacement operation. The surgery caused injury to the sciatic nerve and our client had a foot drop. This was debilitating to her as it reduced her mobility, made her less safe and her house became unsuitable because of the number of steps and its location. Damages were recovered of £55,000.