Claimant awarded £18,000 as a result of a delay in performing hip replacement surgery

28 Mar 2017 | Case Studies

On 2 December 2010, the Claimant attended her GP Surgery and it was noted the Claimant was suffering with hip pain. X-rays confirmed she was suffering from osteoarthritis, worse on the right than the left and she was referred for a surgical opinion.

In February 2011, the claimant was reviewed by an Associate Specialist in Orthopaedics at Tameside General Hospital. It was noted that the Claimant had suffered with intermittent pain in her right hip for two years and the symptoms had worsened and were interfering with her mobility. It was further noted that the Claimant had recently started having problems in her left hip and it was incorrectly recorded that the Claimant was not keen on the idea of surgery. No discussion surrounding the treatment options including surgery and steroid injections was discussed or recorded in the medical records. The claimant was simply offered steroid injections.

By February 2012 (following a delay due to being lost to follow up) the Claimant was reviewed by a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and again only steroid injections were offered.

The first injection was administered in March 2012. At review in April 2012, the Claimant was seen by the Consultant, who confirmed the Claimant was too young for hip replacement surgery (she was 51) and in a letter the Consultant stated there was “no indication” for surgery.  An x-ray of her hips was carried out but the Consultant failed to review the images which in fact showed significant bone loss and significant osteoarthritis, such that steroid injections would provide little to no benefit.

Over the following months the Claimant continued to experience agonising pain that impacted upon her ability to walk and her ability to work effectively.

In September 2012, the Claimant received injections of steroids into her right hip. The claimant stated the injections provided minimal temporary pain relief.

The claimant lost faith in her consultant and arranged a second opinion. Upon seeing the second consultant he confirmed her April 2012 x-rays were such that surgery was the only real option and he listed her for a total hip replacement. He was unable to list her for surgery for a further three months due to the claimant undergoing a steroid injection in September 2012 which increased the risk of infection.

The Claimant finally underwent a right ceramic on ceramic total hip replacement in December 2012 and reported a good outcome from surgery.

It was alleged that had the claimant been appropriately consented and counselled about her options for surgery, she could have been placed on the waiting list for surgery in February 2011. It was argued that had the Claimant been offered surgery in March 2012 and/or April 2012 and/or September 2012 and appropriately counselled about the treatment options she would have elected to have surgery.

The Claimant would have avoided paying for the surgery to be conducted privately and would have avoided the pain and suffering and loss of amenity during the period of delay.

The Settlement

A settlement was reached in the total sum of £18,000

Date of Judgment/Settlement:  12.16
Claimant Solicitor: Helen Neville

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