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Settlement for client following negligent hip surgery

Medical negligence case results in compensation for woman following hip surgery

Hip replacement

29 February 2016

A woman in her fifties known only as L has settled her medical negligence claim following hip surgery.

L was represented by medical negligence solicitor Despina Kavadas.

L had experienced back and left hip pain from 2001 and was referred to an orthopaedic surgeon by her GP. Following this appointment L was approved for hip resurfacing surgery.

L was admitted for hip surgery in August 2007.  A post-surgery X-ray showed that the hip component was inserted at an angle of 86 degrees which was too steep.

The incorrect angle of insertion of the implant meant that it was rubbing against L’s acetabular bone.

L was discharged after surgery unaware of the fact that the procedure she had undergone had been carried out incorrectly.

L’s hip did not feel right and she had another X-ray that showed that her hip component was grating against her acetabular bone. Her consultant advised her that symptoms following hip surgery could last for two years.

In September 2008 L had a further X-ray the results of which indicated that the condition of her hip joint was deteriorating.

By January 2009 L needed to take painkillers every day to manage the pain she was experiencing.  She underwent complete hip revision surgery in May 2009.  From March 2009 L was unable to work.

Following revision hip surgery L’s condition improved considerably.

Despina Kavadas brought a medical negligence claim against Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust on behalf of L, claiming that during L’s original hip surgery the component had been inserted at the incorrect angle, and that L had not been informed that revision surgery was necessary earlier.

L also claimed that the choice of component used in the surgery, a ceramic head on a metal liner, was negligent.

L said:

“I was originally referred to Leigh Day by my orthopaedic surgeon to act on my behalf for a claim against the hip manufacturers after hip surgery, as I was told the fault was with the hip, not the angle it was put in at.

“It then became apparent that it was a negligence claim, rather than a manufacturing claim.

“From the beginning Leigh Day, along with all the consultants and specialists they referred me to, were very supportive towards me and my case and remained so throughout the four years until the case was settled.

“I can't thank Despina enough for her help and guidance throughout the process and despite the time it took to come to fruition, she and everyone involved kept me informed throughout. I cannot thank her enough.”

Despina settled the case without an admission of liability for a five figure-sum. She said:

“L has been left facing the likelihood of further hip revision surgery which could have been avoided if her original hip surgery had been carried out correctly. She also suffered unnecessary pain and discomfort for nearly two years after the procedure which again, could have been avoided.”

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