Advising with empathy and experience

£560,000 compensation for hip surgery problems.

We acted on behalf of the Claimant in a claim against North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust with regards hip replacement surgery that he underwent in August 2008.

The Claimant underwent a left total hip replacement in March 2008 which was successful and from which he made a good recovery. In August 2008 the Claimant returned to University Hospital of North Tees in order to undergo the same procedure on his right hip. Identical hip components were used as for the first hip replacement and the Claimant was discharged home.

Just a few days after undergoing the hip replacement, the Claimant’s hip dislocated and he required manipulation under anaesthetic. It was noted that the Claimant’s hip was very unstable and therefore he underwent revision surgery just a few weeks after the initial surgery.

Unfortunately the hip once again dislocated and he required further revision surgery just a week after the first revision operation. Thankfully, the second revision surgery was successful. However, because of the repeated surgeries within a short space of time, the Claimant went on to develop significant heterotopic ossification of the right hip which caused him significant pain and discomfort.

In May 2009 the Claimant underwent radiotherapy in an attempt to treat the symptoms, followed by a final revision surgery. The procedure did provide the Claimant with relief for a few months but, not long thereafter, his symptoms worsened and he is now in a permanent state of pain and discomfort and has significantly impaired mobility. He uses a wheelchair on a regular basis and requires a number of adaptations to his home in order to help him with his mobility. He also requires specialist equipment, including an adjustable bed, in an effort to improve his comfort.

Investigations into a potential clinical negligence claim revealed that the initial hip replacement surgery carried out on the right hip was not performed to a reasonable standard and placed the hip replacement at too high an inclination. The first revision surgery failed to correct this error as it was not understood what the cause of the problem was.

Court proceedings were commenced against the Defendant and the Claimant accepted the sum of £560,000.00 in settlement of the claim.

Helen Caulfield of the CNCI team said, "Our client underwent what should have been a straightforward procedure.  Hip replacements are commonplace in the NHS and the majority of patients experience considerable benefit from the procedure.  Sadly, in this case, the Claimant has been left with significant and profound disabilities.  The initial failings at the time of the surgery were compounded by the fact that the revision procedure was carried out before the actual problem was identified.  The award of compensation will go some way to provide our client with a degree of financial support and we are pleased to have been able to assist him”.