Hip replacement surgery case settled for £22,500 just before Trial

Our client, a retired man from Bromley, and keen tennis enthusiast, underwent a right sided Birmingham Hip Resurfacing procedure, on a private basis, in South London, on 31.03.09.

He had had the same procedure carried out, on the left side, by the same surgeon, 5 years previously

The neck of the femur fractured, post operatively, and after our client had been discharged home, this requiring revision surgery, carried out at an NHS hospital, on 18.04.09.

It was alleged that the surgery was performed negligently. In particular, that the Defendant failed to position the femoral component so that it was properly seated.  Notching was caused to the neck of the femur additionally.  The acetabular component was wrongly positioned.

There were also concerns and issues raised surrounding the level of the operating surgeon’s up to date knowledge and experience in performing the procedure.

Further, and equally importantly, post operatively, the radiologist at the hospital was concerned by the appearance of the hip on an x-ray which the Defendant had checked.  The Defendant was negligent, it was alleged, not to notice/recognise the poor seating of the femoral head. Also not to heed the advice of the radiologist, who set out his concerns within a report, asking to discuss the case with the Defendant.

At that point the position could still have been salvaged by advising a period of protective weight bearing.

In consequence of the negligence, our client suffered the fracture, had to undergo the revision surgery, had to endure a longer period of convalescence and was left with some impaired function.

Further hip revision surgery will be rendered more complicated if needed in the future.

The case was fully prepared and was originally ready for trial in October of last year but was adjourned at the last minute.

We made an offer to settle, in the sum of £22,500, in December of last year, which the Defendant only accepted this month.

Liability was denied throughout and remained denied at the point of settlement.

Our Nick Fairweather, who had conduct of the matter, commented:-

“I am pleased that we have got a satisfactory outcome for our client in this matter although the case should have been settled long before in my opinion. It is important that these specialist operations are reserved to those with the requisite up to date experience of performing them.  Also that doctors communicate effectively post operatively in the private setting. I wish our client all the very best for the future.”