Failure of post-operative care

Posted by Annabelle Eyre on

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Mr D instructed BL Claims solicitors to assist him because of a failure in post-operative care following surgery to the toes on his left foot.

Our client had been suffering with pain in the toes on his left foot for some time and, following advice from an orthopaedic surgeon, underwent fusion of the distal interphalangeal joints (DIP) and proximal interphalangeal joints (PIP) joints in the second toe of his left foot in February 2012. On discharge, Mr D, who lived in a second floor apartment, was not provided with any walking aids nor was he advised that he should be heel walking.

Six weeks later, Mr D returned to have the k-wires removed. The surgeon removed part of the wire, but the wire snapped and a small part remained in the toe. He was not informed that this had occurred and was simply advised by the surgeon that there would be some swelling but that he should elevate his leg to reduce the swelling and that he should walk as normally as possible. Our client was advised that it might take three months to heal. However, the recovery did not go as planned and over six months later he continued to experience pain in his toe. His GP referred him back to the surgeon who reviewed him in July 2012 and he was advised that further surgery would be required to release tension.

Mr D sought a second opinion because he was concerned by the treatment he had received. He was advised that part of wire was still in his toe and that the fusion of his joints had not been successful. He underwent further surgery in September 2012 .

It was clear that had our client received accurate and clear instructions post operatively, he would have complied and on the balance of probabilities, the k-wire would not have broken and the PIP joint would have fused satisfactorily without the need for further surgery or the extended period of pain and suffering.

Following receipt of the letter of claim, the Defendant accepted liability and negotiations on settlement were commenced; Annabelle Eyre from our Clinical Negligence team, secured a settlement of £6,500 for Mr D in November 2013.

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About the Author

Annabelle is a solicitor in our Clinical Negligence team.

Annabelle Eyre
Email Annabelle
023 8085 7499

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