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Orthopaedic Claims

Orthopaedic injury can seriously affect your health and well-being.

A photo of Mrs Swaffield

I am very happy and satisfied with the settlement you achieved for me and the service was excellent and thank you very much

Mrs E.Swaffield
Loughborough

Claiming for orthopaedic injury

Orthopaedic conditions affect the bones and muscles of the human body, which means they often cause mobility problems. This alone can be hugely frustrating, so it’s especially devastating when the situation deteriorates even further as a direct result of medical negligence. Sadly, delays in the diagnosis of serious orthopaedic conditions such as are all too common. In cases of severe negligence, these conditions go completely undetected, as do the symptoms of certain forms of cancer that attack bone and muscle tissue. If you suffer from an orthopaedic condition that has worsened as a result of medical negligence, you may have a claim. With no upfront fees of payments to pay, it’s time to call Your Legal Friend.

We have years of experience working on medical negligence cases, many of which have involved orthopaedic claims. From a legal point of view, we know how complicated these cases can be. More importantly, we understand that they can leave the victim feeling incredibly vulnerable, even embarrassed. The psychological and emotional effects of medical negligence are often just as damaging as the physical impact. That’s why we are committed to guiding you through every step of the process. We will ensure that your claim is handled carefully and professionally by specialist solicitors, while working alongside medical experts in the orthopaedic field, to guarantee the best results for you.

COMPARTMENT SYNDROME CLAIMS

We strongly believe in the value of meeting our clients face-to-face, so that we can make sure all of your individual needs are being met. Because of the personal nature of medical negligence cases, we are happy to visit clients at home when appropriate. That way, you can discuss your claim in the privacy and safety of familiar surroundings, with the support of friends and family. Your Legal Friend will do whatever it takes to make the process of claiming as easy as possible, so get in touch today to find out more.

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Our medical negligence team has years of experience working on a wide variety of medical negligence cases so we understand just how difficult a decision it can be to bring a medical negligence case.

Orthopaedic claims team

That’s why we are committed to guiding you through every step of the process. We ensure that your claim is handled carefully and professionally by our specialist solicitors, while working alongside medical experts, to guarantee the best results for you.

Our medical negligence team is headed by Laura Morgan who has a wealth of experience in leading complicated, high-value medical negligence cases.

Laura is recognised within the legal profession as a leader in the field of medical negligence and serious injury compensation.  Laura has acted in a wide range of cases over her 17 years of practice and has particular expertise in acting for children who have suffered brain injury due to mismanaged birth or surgical errors, and in managing claims that have resulted in the death of a loved one. Laura has achieved a number of large settlements including £5.4 million for a 7-year-old and £4 million for an 11-year-old child.

Laura’s expertise and dedication to her clients is recognised in the Chambers guide to the Legal Profession in which she was praised for the efficiency of her approach to case handling and described as “tenacious and detail-oriented”.

Laura has been a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel since 2005 and accredited as a Senior Litigator in the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) since 2006.  Laura is also a member of the specialist lawyers panel for Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA), the UK’s leading charity committed to patient safety and justice.

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The effects of medical negligence can be devastating for the individual and their families, so securing appropriate compensation for them as quickly as possible is our top priority.

Laura Morgan

Director of Medical Negligence

What our customers say

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“I found the staff to be friendly, helpful, courteous and they kept me well informed on a regular basis”

Mrs. Vora,
Loughborough

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“They acted in a sympathetic and professional manner and resolved my case very efficiently”

Mr Dowse
Leeds

  For a confidential chat, call one of our experts today 0151 550 5228

10 simple steps to claim

Step
1
Obtaining your medical records
Step
2
Providing your statement of what happened
Step
3
Minimising your loss
Step
4
Establishing that a breach of duty occurred
Step
5
Estabilishing the effect of the breach of duty
Step
86
Preparing your case for CourtCalculating the value of your claim
Step
7
Proving your loss
Step
68
Calculating the value of your claimPreparing your case for Court
Step
9
Attending the trial in Court
Step
10
Awarding your compensation claim

Your questions... answered

What is orthopaedics?

Orthopaedics is the medical term used in the treatment and surgery of a disorder, condition or injury that affects your:

  • Bones and joints
  • Ligaments, tendons and muscles
  • Related nerves

A GP or doctor should promptly refer you to an orthopaedic/trauma consultant for the treatment of:

  • An injury, such as a bone fracture.
  • An injury trauma, such as Compartment Syndrome - where the nerves and blood vessels become compressed following a severe injury.
  • A long-term condition that's developed over many years, such as Osteoarthritis which relates to the gradual loss of cartilage in the joints.

Other conditions that require the attention of an orthopaedic specialist will also include:

  • Abnormal bone/muscle development present at birth, such as Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH)– an incorrectly positioned hip joint.
  • Deformity of the spine or limbs.
  • A delay in treatment can cause an injury or condition to deteriorate and lead to further complications. In some cases, a patient can be left suffering from a severe disability caused by permanent nerve injury and loss of muscle function.

Your GP, doctor, specialist or other clinician has a duty of care to promptly and correctly diagnose and treat orthopaedic injuries or conditions.

Read less

How do I know if I’ve experience orthopaedic negligence?

You may have grounds to believe that you or a loved one has not received the appropriate standard of care expected from your doctor or hospital if there was:

Your Legal Friend has many years of experience in successfully resolving different types of clinical negligence cases. We offer specialist knowledge of both legal and medical issues, together with a sensitive understanding of how everyone involved is affected. We can help you:

  • Find out the reason why something went wrong with a diagnosis, treatment or procedure.
  • Obtain financial compensation for the injury or harm caused, which may need long-term treatment, care and support.

What are the stats on orthopaedic negligence?

  • 144,047 orthopaedic procedures completed by the NHS in 2014    
  • Knee procedures - 69,662 (48.3%)
  • Hip procedures - 68,529 (47.5%)
  • Shoulder procedures - 4,781 (0.3%)
  • Elbow procedures - 567
  • Ankle procedures - 508          
  • 15% of all negligence claims received by the NHS, 2013-14
  • 9,865 orthopaedic litigation claims between 1995 and 2010

What are the common orthopaedic procedures?

The most common procedures are:

  • Repairing fractured bones
  • Hip replacement
  • Knee replacement
  • Soft tissue repair -  damaged muscles, torn tendons or ligaments

Other types of surgery include:

  • ACL Reconstruction – repair of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament - the major stabilising ligament at the front of the knee, which can rupture if the knee is twisted or injured.
  • Arthroscopy - ‘keyhole’ surgery where tiny cameras and medical instruments are inserted into a joint to diagnose and repair damaged joint tissue, such as cartilage damage.
  • Arthroplasty – surgery used to replace or resurface joints affected by arthritis.

Surgery to correct a bone deformity:

  • Fusion surgery (where bones are welded together to heal into a single, solid bone)
  • Osteotomy (correcting a misaligned bone to help prevent degeneration of an adjacent joint) 

If left untreated, deformities of the spine or limbs can restrict movement and function, and cause long-term impairment. After surgery, a specialist should recommend exercises or physiotherapy to restore movement, strength and functionality.

Read less

How does orthopaedic negligence happen?

A patient may be caused preventable harm, suffering or loss as a result of:

  • A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, sometimes caused by misreading X-rays
  • Failure to recognise or treat fractures, particularly in A&E
  • A delay in diagnosis of a fracture
  • Problems appearing during a  hip, knee or elbow replacement
  • Poor surgical technique
  • Wrong site surgery
  • Incorrect repair of a fracture, requiring further surgery
  • Damage to blood circulation
  • Nerve damage
  • Infection following an operation
  • Equipment malfunction
  • Incorrect size of prosthesis

Do I have an orthopaedic negligence claim?

You may have grounds to make a claim for an orthopaedic injury if you are able to show:

  • A missed or negligent diagnosis - below a standard of appropriate care that would be provided by another doctor in the same field with the same qualified training and experience.
  • Incorrect surgery or treatment – where a repair or replacement is not performed correctly.
  • Errors in joint reconstruction – you may not have had the appropriate type of treatment. Severity and location can also affect the way treatment is applied.

For a claim of negligence to be successful, you have to show:

  • The doctor, surgeon or hospital was in breach of the duty of care you are owed as their patient.
  • The care received fell below the standard that could “reasonably be expected” from a specialist in that area of medicine.
  • The lack of care directly led to the injury/ harm which was a “reasonably foreseeable consequence” of the actions or omissions of the doctor or person providing the treatment.
Read less

What is a spinal injury?

With some types of spinal injuries and the use of advanced treatment technologies, it may sometimes be possible for the damage caused to the spine to be of short duration and a full recovery can be made by the patient.

An injury caused to the bones of the spine may well be able to heal, however, any damage to the spinal cord itself is still considered almost always irreversible. When the spine has been seriously damaged or the spinal cord is severed, there are major implications for a patient’s future with immobility or severe movement impairment.

However, much can depend on the accuracy of diagnosis and the subsequent promptness of treatment and care by doctors, specialists and other practitioners.  If a patient doesn’t receive the proper care that they need they may suffer injury as a result of clinical negligence.

The traumatic and life-changing consequences of a permanent spinal injury can have a devastating impact on the whole family. Especially, if the damage was avoidable and if sufficient care had not been taken. Cases involving complications arising from spinal injuries can sometimes also be complex.

Now hospital Trusts owe a legal ‘Duty of Candour’ to the patient.  They must both inform and apologise if mistakes. However, this is a new duty and it may not always be straightforward to obtain a proper explanation as to what happened and who is responsible.

Read less

What are the stats on spinal injury?

  • Around 500–600 people suffer from acute traumatic injuries to the spinal cord each year in the UK.
  • Five times as many people - around 2, 750 - are estimated will suffer a spinal fracture or dislocation alone.
  • Just 7 per cent of spinal injury cases are referred within 24 hours.
  • 59 per cent of spinal injury cases are admitted to hospital within 30 days. 
  • 40,000 people in the UK are estimated living with a spinal cord injury.
  • Every eight hours, an injury to the spinal cord occurs in the UK.

What problems can be caused by spinal injuries?

When the structure of the spine, the bones, spinal discs, nerves and/or cord have been damaged a full or partial recovery may be possible. However, an injury to the spinal cord is usually very serious with paralysis and severe immobility as a lifelong outcome. 

Spinal injuries can cause:

  • Restricted mobility.
  • Constant pain.
  • Weakness in the limbs.
  • Altered or loss of sensation.
  • Involuntary muscle spasms.

Spinal cord injuries can cause:

  • Paralysis.
  • Phantom pain in the paralysed limbs.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Sudden high blood pressure.
  • Problems controlling body temperature.
  • Loss of the control of the bladder and or bowel.
Read less

How can orthopaedic negligence happen?

Missed or delayed diagnosis

The duty of care you are owed as a patient means that every doctor, specialist or  nurse  must “exercise the skill appropriate to their experience and training and perform their clinical responsibilities in line with their peers.” To prove a clinical negligence claim we then have to go on to show that you are worse now as a result of the doctor, specialist or nurses’ failing.

When care in the diagnosis and treatment of a spinal injury falls below an acceptable standard, the injuries can affect motor, brain and nerve function. A spinal injury could still be ‘unstable’ with the possibility of further complications developing but a doctor may have mistakenly diagnosed the injury as already having “stabilised.”

Negligent or substandard surgery

Direct injuries can be caused to the spine or spinal cord during surgery because of a failure to carry out correct procedures, the use of the incorrect equipment or even during tests involving a lumbar puncture when a needle is inserted to obtain a sample of spinal fluid.

A spinal injury may not only become worse and the prospects of recovery diminished, a patient may suffer permanent, life-changing disability.

Lack of care

Spinal injuries may not be managed appropriately and further serious injury caused at a hospital or nursing home.

Poor care during your labour

An improperly administered epidural can result in spinal damage to the mother.

Read less

What are some common spinal problems?

  • Herniated Disc ( known as a “slipped disc”)
  • Lumbar Disc Disease
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Spinal Stenosis (restriction or narrowing of the spinal canal)
  • Spinal Abscess
  • Spinal Cyst
  • Spinal Haemorrhage
  • Spinal Decompression
  • Spinal Tumour

Orthopaedics is the medical term used in the treatment and surgery of a disorder, condition or injury that affects your:

  • Bones and joints
  • Ligaments, tendons and muscles
  • Related nerves

A GP or doctor should promptly refer you to an orthopaedic/trauma consultant for the treatment of:

  • An injury, such as a bone fracture.
  • An injury trauma, such as Compartment Syndrome - where the nerves and blood vessels become compressed following a severe injury.
  • A long-term condition that's developed over many years, such as Osteoarthritis which relates to the gradual loss of cartilage in the joints.

Other conditions that require the attention of an orthopaedic specialist will also include:

  • Abnormal bone/muscle development present at birth, such as Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH)– an incorrectly positioned hip joint.
  • Deformity of the spine or limbs.
  • A delay in treatment can cause an injury or condition to deteriorate and lead to further complications. In some cases, a patient can be left suffering from a severe disability caused by permanent nerve injury and loss of muscle function.

Your GP, doctor, specialist or other clinician has a duty of care to promptly and correctly diagnose and treat orthopaedic injuries or conditions.

Read less

You may have grounds to believe that you or a loved one has not received the appropriate standard of care expected from your doctor or hospital if there was:

Your Legal Friend has many years of experience in successfully resolving different types of clinical negligence cases. We offer specialist knowledge of both legal and medical issues, together with a sensitive understanding of how everyone involved is affected. We can help you:

  • Find out the reason why something went wrong with a diagnosis, treatment or procedure.
  • Obtain financial compensation for the injury or harm caused, which may need long-term treatment, care and support.
  • 144,047 orthopaedic procedures completed by the NHS in 2014    
  • Knee procedures - 69,662 (48.3%)
  • Hip procedures - 68,529 (47.5%)
  • Shoulder procedures - 4,781 (0.3%)
  • Elbow procedures - 567
  • Ankle procedures - 508          
  • 15% of all negligence claims received by the NHS, 2013-14
  • 9,865 orthopaedic litigation claims between 1995 and 2010

The most common procedures are:

  • Repairing fractured bones
  • Hip replacement
  • Knee replacement
  • Soft tissue repair -  damaged muscles, torn tendons or ligaments

Other types of surgery include:

  • ACL Reconstruction – repair of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament - the major stabilising ligament at the front of the knee, which can rupture if the knee is twisted or injured.
  • Arthroscopy - ‘keyhole’ surgery where tiny cameras and medical instruments are inserted into a joint to diagnose and repair damaged joint tissue, such as cartilage damage.
  • Arthroplasty – surgery used to replace or resurface joints affected by arthritis.

Surgery to correct a bone deformity:

  • Fusion surgery (where bones are welded together to heal into a single, solid bone)
  • Osteotomy (correcting a misaligned bone to help prevent degeneration of an adjacent joint) 

If left untreated, deformities of the spine or limbs can restrict movement and function, and cause long-term impairment. After surgery, a specialist should recommend exercises or physiotherapy to restore movement, strength and functionality.

Read less

A patient may be caused preventable harm, suffering or loss as a result of:

  • A misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, sometimes caused by misreading X-rays
  • Failure to recognise or treat fractures, particularly in A&E
  • A delay in diagnosis of a fracture
  • Problems appearing during a  hip, knee or elbow replacement
  • Poor surgical technique
  • Wrong site surgery
  • Incorrect repair of a fracture, requiring further surgery
  • Damage to blood circulation
  • Nerve damage
  • Infection following an operation
  • Equipment malfunction
  • Incorrect size of prosthesis

You may have grounds to make a claim for an orthopaedic injury if you are able to show:

  • A missed or negligent diagnosis - below a standard of appropriate care that would be provided by another doctor in the same field with the same qualified training and experience.
  • Incorrect surgery or treatment – where a repair or replacement is not performed correctly.
  • Errors in joint reconstruction – you may not have had the appropriate type of treatment. Severity and location can also affect the way treatment is applied.

For a claim of negligence to be successful, you have to show:

  • The doctor, surgeon or hospital was in breach of the duty of care you are owed as their patient.
  • The care received fell below the standard that could “reasonably be expected” from a specialist in that area of medicine.
  • The lack of care directly led to the injury/ harm which was a “reasonably foreseeable consequence” of the actions or omissions of the doctor or person providing the treatment.
Read less

With some types of spinal injuries and the use of advanced treatment technologies, it may sometimes be possible for the damage caused to the spine to be of short duration and a full recovery can be made by the patient.

An injury caused to the bones of the spine may well be able to heal, however, any damage to the spinal cord itself is still considered almost always irreversible. When the spine has been seriously damaged or the spinal cord is severed, there are major implications for a patient’s future with immobility or severe movement impairment.

However, much can depend on the accuracy of diagnosis and the subsequent promptness of treatment and care by doctors, specialists and other practitioners.  If a patient doesn’t receive the proper care that they need they may suffer injury as a result of clinical negligence.

The traumatic and life-changing consequences of a permanent spinal injury can have a devastating impact on the whole family. Especially, if the damage was avoidable and if sufficient care had not been taken. Cases involving complications arising from spinal injuries can sometimes also be complex.

Now hospital Trusts owe a legal ‘Duty of Candour’ to the patient.  They must both inform and apologise if mistakes. However, this is a new duty and it may not always be straightforward to obtain a proper explanation as to what happened and who is responsible.

Read less
  • Around 500–600 people suffer from acute traumatic injuries to the spinal cord each year in the UK.
  • Five times as many people - around 2, 750 - are estimated will suffer a spinal fracture or dislocation alone.
  • Just 7 per cent of spinal injury cases are referred within 24 hours.
  • 59 per cent of spinal injury cases are admitted to hospital within 30 days. 
  • 40,000 people in the UK are estimated living with a spinal cord injury.
  • Every eight hours, an injury to the spinal cord occurs in the UK.

When the structure of the spine, the bones, spinal discs, nerves and/or cord have been damaged a full or partial recovery may be possible. However, an injury to the spinal cord is usually very serious with paralysis and severe immobility as a lifelong outcome. 

Spinal injuries can cause:

  • Restricted mobility.
  • Constant pain.
  • Weakness in the limbs.
  • Altered or loss of sensation.
  • Involuntary muscle spasms.

Spinal cord injuries can cause:

  • Paralysis.
  • Phantom pain in the paralysed limbs.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Sudden high blood pressure.
  • Problems controlling body temperature.
  • Loss of the control of the bladder and or bowel.
Read less

Missed or delayed diagnosis

The duty of care you are owed as a patient means that every doctor, specialist or  nurse  must “exercise the skill appropriate to their experience and training and perform their clinical responsibilities in line with their peers.” To prove a clinical negligence claim we then have to go on to show that you are worse now as a result of the doctor, specialist or nurses’ failing.

When care in the diagnosis and treatment of a spinal injury falls below an acceptable standard, the injuries can affect motor, brain and nerve function. A spinal injury could still be ‘unstable’ with the possibility of further complications developing but a doctor may have mistakenly diagnosed the injury as already having “stabilised.”

Negligent or substandard surgery

Direct injuries can be caused to the spine or spinal cord during surgery because of a failure to carry out correct procedures, the use of the incorrect equipment or even during tests involving a lumbar puncture when a needle is inserted to obtain a sample of spinal fluid.

A spinal injury may not only become worse and the prospects of recovery diminished, a patient may suffer permanent, life-changing disability.

Lack of care

Spinal injuries may not be managed appropriately and further serious injury caused at a hospital or nursing home.

Poor care during your labour

An improperly administered epidural can result in spinal damage to the mother.

Read less
  • Herniated Disc ( known as a “slipped disc”)
  • Lumbar Disc Disease
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Spinal Fusion
  • Spinal Stenosis (restriction or narrowing of the spinal canal)
  • Spinal Abscess
  • Spinal Cyst
  • Spinal Haemorrhage
  • Spinal Decompression
  • Spinal Tumour