We have recently achieved a settlement for unnecessary pain suffered by our client, as a result of physiotherapy manipulation causing a soft tissue injury to the lumbar spine.
Our client received physiotherapy treatment which was provided via her occupational health department at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Her physiotherapist carried out manipulation ‘thrusts’ to her lumbar spine and sacroiliac joints, causing her to suffer a soft tissue injury. This in turn led to significant back pain, and consequent psychological symptoms, as a pre-existing back condition was exacerbated and accelerated.
The physiotherapist failed to appreciate during our client’s second consultation that her condition had worsened since the previous consultation, and that she had experienced a significant increase of her lower back pain. He also failed to appreciate this deterioration in the following consultation and performed the same manipulation again. Additionally, the physiotherapist did not perform a reasonably competent physiotherapy examination, and failed to gain informed consent from our client for further manipulation treatment when performing the manipulation ‘thrusts’.
Investigations were carried out as part of the clinical negligence claim led by our specialist team, and expert evidence was obtained. It was alleged that, with reasonably competent physiotherapy treatment, our client would not have been treated with further manipulation ‘thrusts’ to her lumbar spine or sacroiliac joints, or at any subsequent consultations. Her lower back would have been treated with the use of an exercise programme instead. She would not have suffered the soft tissue injury to her lumbar spine; instead, she would have recovered quickly from the acute increase in back pain, rather than deteriorating further. Our client would also have avoided the increased psychological symptoms caused by the exacerbation and acceleration of her back pain.
The defendant denied that the treatment was negligent but, following negotiations, we are pleased that we were able to reach a settlement for our client and achieve a resolution for her.