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Five-figure settlement after spinal surgery at the Oxford Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre

Surgery to correct scoliosis left Alexandra with a permanent loss of sensation

Image of a spine with scoliosis

30 May 2019

A woman has settled her medical negligence claim against the Oxford Nuffield Orthopeadic Centre after surgery to correct her scoliosis resulted in her suffering a spinal cord injury affecting her day to day life. 

The woman, known only as Alexandra, underwent surgery at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford to correct her scoliosis, a sideways curve of her spine, when she was 21 years old.  

One of the screws the surgeon inserted into her vertebra to assist with the straightening process of her spine was put in the wrong place.  As a result, when Alexandra awoke from surgery she could not move or feel her right leg and had reduced sensation in her left leg.  

She was rushed back to theatre for the screws to be removed in the hope that this would limit the damage caused.

Alexandra had to go through a long period of recovery and her condition slowly improved.  

Alexandra is still unable to feel her left leg which means she is more vulnerable to injuries, such as when she burnt her leg with her hair straighteners.  She also has reduced sensation in her bladder, and is unable to tell when she needs to pass urine.  She also has lost sensation in her perineum, which has affected her ability to enjoy sexual relationships.  

She instructed medical negligence specialist solicitor Kirsten Wall to represent her in a legal claim against the hospital.

The hospital denied liability for the injuries Alexandra has been left with, and fought the case up until two months before trial when they agreed to pay her a five figure sum of compensation, without an admission of liability.  

Medical negligence solicitor at Leigh Day, Kirsten Wall said:

“Alexandra’s life has been hugely affected by the neurological injury she suffered during this operation when she was only 21 years old.  Sadly, there is no treatment to help Alexandra but I am pleased she was able to obtain compensation for the future which will help her obtain any therapies or treatment she needs.  It was disappointing that the Hospital fought the case for so many years and, indeed, never admitted liability for what happened to Alexandra.”

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