Our clinical negligence team has secured a six-figure settlement for a client following unnecessary orthopaedic surgery to remove an asymptomatic tibial screw.
Judgment was successfully entered in the claimant’s favour in 2021 (see full details here) limiting the issues between the parties to quantum. In entering judgment for the claimant, the defendant accepted that there had been a failure to offer her conservative treatment for her knee pain. The defendant also accepted that there had been no clinical need to remove the tibial screw which had been inserted some 20 years previously, and had not been contributing to the claimant’s symptoms at the time.
Following the unnecessary procedure, the claimant went on to develop serious complications post-operatively as a result of the failure to diagnose and treat a wound infection. She subsequently required multiple washout and debridement procedures, as well as plastic surgery, in an attempt to restore a significant tibial defect caused by the need to undergo vacuum-assisted wound closure therapy.
The claimant suffered with ongoing pain, a loss of range of movement and, ultimately, required a total knee replacement much earlier than she otherwise would have done but for the negligence, due to an acceleration of degenerative osteoarthritis.
The defendant accepted that had the unnecessary surgery not been performed, the claimant would have avoided the associated debridement and plastic surgeries. However, it remained disputed between the parties whether the full extent of her functional disabilities was causally related to the negligence, or whether they were due to constitutional degeneration.
Ultimately, a six-figure settlement was achieved to acknowledge the significant step change in the claimant’s functional ability following the negligence, and the fact that she was now likely to face revision total knee replacement surgery that she otherwise would not have required. Consideration was also given to the fact that the claimant now required single-storey accommodation and was limited in her ability to work.