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Negligent knee replacement surgery

The Claimant won £65,000 in damages following negligent knee replacement surgery resulting in severe infection and the requirement to remove the original replacement knee joint. Following it's removal the claimant was severely incapacitated as he has to wait for the infection in the knee to cease and then undergo futher surgery to replace this with another new knee joint.

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The Claimant, who was aged 68 at the time treatment was provided, underwent surgery with the Defendant, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, on a private basis.  The claim was therefore pursued against the private Consultant in his own right, although he did have the benefit of insurance through his Professional Indemnity Insurers and, thereafter, Solicitors instructed to act on their behalf. 

 In 2006, the Claimant underwent a total left knee operation on a private basis, that was performed by the Defendant, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. 

Post operatively, the Claimant developed an infection in his knee.  Thereafter, he was given intravenous antibiotics, on many occasions, notwithstanding his problems continuing and,deteriorating.  Eventually, in August 2007, the Defendant accepted that the Claimant would need to undergo a further knee replacement operation; however, the Claimant then sought a second opinion,

which was provided in October 2007.  At this assessment, the Claimant was advised, by an independent Orthopaedic Surgeon, that his left knee was severely infected and due to the level of

infection, the only way it could be treated, was by removal of the prosthesis.  Consequently, the Claimant underwent a revision operation which involved removal of the knee joint.  A metal structure was then put in place with antibiotic pebbles.  This remained in situ for two months, during which time the Claimant was severely incapacitated.  However, once the infection had fully cleared a new knee joint was inserted, in March 2008.  Since that time, the Claimant has made a reasonable recovery. 

The Defendant was first notified of the potential claim in March 2008 and investigations were commenced.  However, due to limitation issues, protective proceedings were then issued in March 2010 and the proceedings were subsequently served in July 2010. 

Although the Defendants then indicated an intention to defend the entire claim, and later made two requests for an extension of time to deal with the defence, neither an admission nor defence was ever provided. 

A Part 36 settlement offer was made by the Defendants in the sum of £40,000 in December 2010.  The offer was rejected and settlement was eventually agreed, in January 2011, whereby the Claimant accepted the sum of £65,000 in full and final settlement of all damages, plus costs. 

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How can I find out if medical treatment was negligent?
During the investigations of your clinical negligence claim we will be required to obtain disclosure of all relevant medical records - both hospital and GP - in the manner set out in the pre-action protocols. Once all of the relevant medical records have been received they will be considered on a preliminary basis. They will then be sent to an independent expert nurse who will index and paginate the records to ensure that they are in some semblance of order.

 

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