Successful claim following debilitating radial nerve damage during elbow replacement surgery

Posted by Patricia Wakeford on

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BL Claims Solicitors specialise in personal injury, clinical negligence and travel claims, providing our clients with hands-on support, nationally.

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Our client, Mrs B, was diagnosed with arthritis when a teenager and in 2009 began to experience particular pain in her right elbow. In September 2010, Mrs B underwent total right elbow replacement. The surgery was complex and problems arose when the surgeon attempted to apply the bone graft and axial pins as the cement used to fix the components of the joint replacement had started to harden. The surgeon did not abandon the procedure, but continued to operate and despite attempts to remove the hardened cement, not all of it could be removed. During the operation, no attempt was made to protect Mrs B's radial nerve and it was not checked at the end to ensure it remained intact.

Immediately following surgery, Mrs B had reduced sensation in her hand and thumb, a condition called "radial nerve palsy". Mrs B was given a splint, physiotherapy and spent a period of time with her elbow in a plaster cast. Unfortunately these attempts proved unsuccessful and Mrs B was left with limited movement and flexion of the elbow, limited grip and limited wrist movement. These injuries have had an extremely debilitating effect on Mrs B's life as she now has difficulty with personal care and daily life. Her family have been helping her since the surgery. Mrs B can no longer drive and is unable to work as a carer as she did prior to the surgery. She is now much more restricted in all aspects of her life.

Mrs B instructed Patricia Wakeford of BL Claims Solicitors to investigate her claim. A letter of claim was sent to the Defendant Trust in June 2012 alleging their negligence in treating and caring for Mrs B. All allegations were denied by the Defendant Trust and the parties remained in dispute for the next two and a half years. Four weeks before trial was due to commence in January 2016, BL Claims Solicitors were successful in settling the claim for the sum of £200,000 inclusive of deductible benefits. This sum will enable Mrs B to get the care and help she needs going forward. She is very pleased with the result.

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About the Author

Patricia is a Senior Associate, in our Clinical Negligence team, and is also a qualified midwife with many years of experience working in the NHS.

Patricia Wakeford
Email Patricia
023 8085 7310

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