Substandard knee replacement

Between 2009 and 2013 this client received treatment for a problematic left knee at the defendant hospital.
This followed a total knee replacement for advanced degenerative change and complete loss of joint space.  Within two weeks of being discharged the client developed extensive cellulitis extending up to his mid thigh and had to be readmitted for antibiotic therapy.  Within a further two weeks he noticed the sudden onset of pain in his knee and was unable to weight bear.  Further x-rays showed a possible detachment of the patella button and as a result the client was referred for further surgery.

This took place on 23rd August 2010 when a patelloplasty was performed, the patella button excised and the patella re-contoured.  Subsequent review showed that the patella was still tracking laterally.  By 31st March 2011 the client was unable to do much with his leg and was unable to walk on it.  Clinically the knee could be extended and flexed to 90º but the patella was found to be sitting on the lateral gutter.  After a CT scan the client underwent revision surgery in June 2012 and nine months later had to be returned to theatre for a first stage revision of the left total knee replacement with cement spacer.  After commissioning a report from an independent Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon the client was told that it was reasonable for him to have a total knee replacement for his arthritic knee but that when it was done the tibial component was internally rotated by 15º which caused lateral tracking of the patella and ultimately a fracture of the patella button.  After sending the defendant hospital a letter of claim a breach of duty was admitted and the client was put to proof of his losses.

As a result of the substandard surgery and ongoing symptoms the client lost much of his mobility and required a lot of care and assistance from his wife. To prove his losses a report from a Care Expert was obtained. Evidence was also required from an Accomodation Needs specialist so that the client’s need for single storey accommodation could be assessed. The claim remains ongoing but is likely to attract a significant award of compensation