Orthopaedic claims

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Chambers UK
Clinical Negligence

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Injuries resulting from negligence in orthopaedic care vary from relatively minor soft tissue damage that resolves quickly to serious fractures, including spinal injuries. With many years of experience in advising on the full spectrum of orthopaedic claims, our specialist solicitors understand the far-reaching impact of medical and surgical errors in cases of this type and can help patients obtain the compensation they deserve.

Orthopaedics is a wide field of medicine covering injuries affecting bones and joints as well as damage to muscles, cartilage, tendons or ligaments. Treatment can be conservative – involving therapeutic management – or may require surgery. While some fractures are straightforward and fix naturally provided they are immobilised, more complicated fractures and many joint injuries may need surgery to re-position bones so that they can fuse back together. In other cases, surgery may be elective, to try to improve pain and function, rather than because a fracture needs fixing. Common examples include hip or knee replacement surgery, where the wear and tear of everyday life has led to degeneration within the natural joint. 

For patients with soft tissue damage, conservative management is often advised initially, using therapy to try to reduce pain and restore function. However, in certain cases surgical repair is needed, for example, to fix in place a tendon or ligament that has become detached, or to repair or remove damaged or loose tissue that might be limiting movement or causing pain or impingement.  

Although some orthopedic injuries are overcome with comparative ease, others can have devastating, life-changing consequences and may result in a decision to pursue an orthopaedic negligence claim. Making sure the diagnosis is correct and giving timely clinical advice and treatment are all key to achieving a good outcome. Even seemingly minor orthopaedic injuries can lead to long-term problems if they are not diagnosed or treated promptly. Negligent orthopaedic treatment may result in infection or nerve damage and in the most serious cases, can lead to amputation, profound paralysis, or even prove fatal.

Each year, hospitals treat a huge number of patients in the UK for all sorts of orthopaedic injuries. While most succeed in resolving the problem, our solicitors are regularly contacted by individuals who are concerned that their treatment has failed to achieve the outcome they expected and wish to explore the orthopaedic negligence claims process. A failure to listen to a patient, to understand their history and to consider and investigate the injury they might have sustained, can result in a wrong or missed diagnosis that may delay treatment and cause an injury to worsen.

Patients often come to our solicitors for advice because the poor outcome they have experienced following an orthopaedic injury has affected their work and income, or given rise to the need for care, custom-made equipment and even adaptations to accommodation. These are frequently expensive and can be life-long. Penningtons Manches Cooper specialises in these serious orthopaedic claims - our team aims to ensure clients receive maximum compensation while minimising the legal costs involved.

We offer expert advice on:

  • failure to investigate and diagnose correctly
  • failure to act appropriately on the results of investigations
  • failure to treat properly
  • failure to refer appropriately for further investigation and treatment
  • sub-standard follow-up care, including failing to recognise and treat post-operative infection
  • wrongful discharge

Recent work highlights

Substantial compensation for negligent knee replacement

Winning £92,500 for our client who was left with increased pain and worse knee function following a total knee replacement (TKR) carried out at the East Surrey Hospital by a locum surgeon.


Compartment syndrome after knee dislocation

Settling our client’s compensation claim for several hundred thousand pounds following a failure to check the blood supply to her knee, leading to the loss of three muscle compartments in her lower leg and much reduced mobility.


£250k for missed diagnosis of congenital dislocation of the hip

Settling a claim for a missed diagnosis of CDH at 18 months, leaving our client with very significantly impaired mobility as the risk of surgery making her condition worse when she was diagnosed at seven years was too great.

See more detailed case studies

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP