Penningtons Manches’ clinical negligence team is representing a client who suffered sciatic nerve damage while undergoing hip replacement in 2011. Surgery went well but the surgeon sutured straight through the sciatic nerve in closing up, leaving our client with a significant foot drop injury and neuropathic pain. Expert evidence has been obtained and those experts believe that the care provided fell below an acceptable standard. The NHS Trust involved has recently admitted liability pre-action.
Our client required exploratory surgery and has been left with extensive scarring and a contour irregularity to her hip. The scar represents a significant cosmetic deformity as a result of its length and the contour depression and irregularity. The scar is tender to the touch and she has shooting pains down her leg. As it is over two years since the hip surgery, our plastic surgery expert advises that the scarring is mature and unlikely to change to any significant degree. The scar tethering and appearance is contributing to our client’s persistent symptoms of neuropathic pain and distress. The plastic surgery expert evidence is that it would theoretically be possible to re-explore the wound and to de-tether the scar surgically but that the outcome would be disappointing. While there is persistent, although slow, improvement in the symptoms, he advises against surgical re-exploration.
We are now gathering further expert evidence to be able to quantify the claim and hope that a final settlement can be achieved without the need for litigation.
Alison Johnson, senior associate in the clinical negligence team, commented: “Our client has had an extremely difficult time since her surgery. An error that should not have occurred has left her with permanent problems that she did not have before. It is good to see that the trust has been up front and made an early admission and we will use the claim to assess her options.”