The importance of good aftercare in Joint Replacement Surgery

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The product is a cooling, reusable bandage (sold under the name "Physicool").  As Mr Simon Garrett, Consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Dorset County Hospital explained, total knee replacement surgery can be very painful and involve a significant amount of swelling. These factors can hamper a patient's recovery and rehabilitation, and prolong the time that they need to remain in hospital before being able to mobilise with sufficient safety to be allowed home.From recent reports, it would seem that the trial of these bandages at Dorset County Hospital has gone extremely well and, importantly in the current economic climate, has saved Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust a significant amount of money when compared with the traditional form of cooling bandage, which has to be attached to a coolant unit. The new self-cooling bandages apparently work through evaporation, are reusable and can be used by patients in their own homes.

As a clinical negligence lawyer I have dealt with a number of cases where people have experienced complications following knee replacement surgery. Sometimes complications are unavoidable, such as swelling, bleeding, stiffness and infection. The aftercare that patients receive following joint replacement surgery plays an important role in their recovery, and includes trying to reduce the level of swelling and controlling the patient's pain levels, so that mobility of the joint can be commenced at the earliest opportunity.

On other occasions however, sadly errors of judgement are made and this results in the patient suffering additional injury, be that a protracted recovery, poor result or need for further surgery. Sometimes in these circumstances, it is possible to bring a claim for compensation in relation to both the additional injury sustained and the financial consequences of this injury.

We are very fortunate at Blake Lapthorn to have two highly qualified nurses that work within our clinical negligence team, an intensive care nurse and an orthopaedic theatre nurse. Our orthopaedic nurse, Jacqui O'Rourke is obviously of great assistance when advising on the possibility of being able to bring a successful claim for joint replacement surgery.

If you would like to discuss this or any other treatment that you have concerns about, please contact me.

Kym Provan
Senior Associate
Head of Southampton Clinical Negligence team

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