What are you looking for?

22 October 2022 | Case Study | Article by Lesley Herbertson

Sub-standard spinal surgery left woman with mobility issues

Hundreds of thousands in compensation for woman after decompression spinal surgery. Jackie had suffered from cervical myelitis for many years. This is a neurological condition related to inflammation of the spinal cord. The condition affected her gait and caused her to have increasingly frequent falls.

She was advised to undergo decompression surgery to her spine in order to prevent any further deterioration in her mobility with a small chance of some improvement.

The day after surgery, Jackie complained of excruciating pain in her right shoulder. She was discharged the following day but her extreme pain continued and she started to experience numbness in her right forefinger and thumb and she lost some of the grip in her right hand. Her mobility also deteriorated rather than plateau or improve, as had been predicted.

We argued that Jackie’s surgery was not carried out to the appropriate standard and decompression of her spinal cord had not been achieved.

We also argued that the metalwork put into her spine was misplaced and put her at risk of perforating her oesophagus. Liability was admitted but it was argued that, even with properly performed surgery, Jackie’s condition would not have plateaued or only done so for a very short period of time in any event. Jackie also has quite restricted mobility even before the surgery took place.

We were successful in securing compensation for Jackie by way of negotiation which she will be able to use to purchase specialist items of equipment to assist with her mobility.

We were successful in obtaining a compensation award of £115,000 on Jackie’s behalf.

Lesley Herbertson, Partner at Hugh James, acted for Jackie and said:

Whilst there was an admission of negligence by the hospital, the issue in this case was the extent of injury caused by such negligence. Unfortunately, Jackie’s mobility was fairly limited even before her operation took place and it could not be clearly established that she would have significant future problems caused by the surgeon’s poor treatment.

Therefore, we were happy that we were able to agree a settlement figure which would provide Jackie a means of funding her immediate care and equipment needs.

The names and identifying details of the client have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals involved.

Author bio

Lesley Herbertson is a Partner at Hugh James and a leading medical negligence solicitor with over 30 years’ experience in dealing with catastrophic and serious injury medical negligence cases.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

Contact one of our experts

Fill in the form and one of our experts will get in touch with you shortly.