Negligent hip replacement

Davies and Partners represented Mr R in a claim brought against Spire Healthcare Limited, and Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust. Mr R underwent a total left hip replacement in April 2016. He awoke from the surgery in agony knowing that something had gone wrong with the surgery. He had to return, within a few hours, to the operating theatre in order to have, under anaesthetic, an examination and manipulation to reposition the components, as the hip had dislocated.

On further investigation the following day, however, it was discovered that the left hip replacement had dislocated again and Mr R was transferred to Southend Hospital. Mr R had to undergo a further manipulation of the left hip replacement under anaesthetic and the hip was found to be highly unstable. He was placed in traction. Unfortunately, the hip dislocated again, and Mr R required further revision surgery.

Postoperatively, Mr R was placed in a hip Spica cast which was incredibly painful over a period of six weeks. He was discharged from hospital, but his hip replacement remained unstable and continued to dislocate on a daily basis, causing significant pain.

Finally, Mr R was referred to a specialist at Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore where he received appropriate treatment and underwent a revision of the original left total hip replacement. This resulted in instability of the left hip.

Unfortunately, Mr R then developed an infection in the left hip. He then had to undergo further revision surgery carried out in two stages. As a result, Mr R suffered chronic postsurgical pain requiring a high level of pain medication in order to function.

Expert evidence was obtained in this case which advised that the initial left total hip replacement had been carried out in a substandard manner and in particular, the socket had been malpositioned and been placed in an excessive vertical angulation. In addition, the femoral stem had also been placed in an excessive degree of anteversion. This marked degree of instability led to recurrent dislocations.

This was disputed by the Defendants, however, they did admit that following the first failed hip surgery, there was a delay in performing a revision surgery causing unnecessary pain and suffering and an offer was made for £50,000. On behalf of Mr R, we obtained further evidence from a psychiatrist and from an expert in pain medicine and a detailed Schedule of Loss was prepared.

The parties agreed to mediate this case prior to the issue of proceedings and the case concluded in the sum of £260,000. This compensation has allowed Mr R to reduce his working days from 5 to 3 and to reduce his level of pain medication leading to a significant improvement in his quality of life.

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