Claimant wins compensation award after hospital admits liability for a surgical error during Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstructio

Claimant wins compensation award after hospital admits liability for a surgical error during Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstructio

A Claimant underwent right knee Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstruction on 8th February 2010. The Claimant reported numbness after the surgery which remained present at the time of discharge from hospital.  The Claimant remained concerned with his knee and on 31st July 2012 was seen for a second opinion. The Defendant agreed in January 2013 to extend the limitation period.  The Defendant agreed to a further extension in May 2013.

Medico-legal opinion suggested that there was a technical problem in drilling the femoral tunnel and it was possible that the lower end of the graft was not adequately tethered. Revision surgery was carried out where it was possible to drill a new femoral tunnel without having to remove the interference screw in the old tunnel and a new hamstring graft was harvested from the left knee.

It was alleged there was faulty siting of the femoral tunnel in the primary surgery, which resulted in the ligament reconstruction being placed too anterior and thus impinging on the inter – condyler notch, restricting extension of the knee and placing the ligament in a position where it was likely to rupture.

The Claimant served a Letter of Claim on 19th June 2013 alleging that the Defendant had negligently drilled two femora tunnels in the first procedure, suggesting intra-operative difficulty in drilling the femora tunnel satisfactorily, but the operation note was not documented to that effect.

The Claimant alleged that the graft in the primary surgery was placed too anteriorly, and impinged on the inter-condylar notch – causing restriction of the full extension of the knee, and the graft was placed in a position where it was likely to rupture.

The Claimant also alleged that if the ligament had been accurately positioned, tensioned and stabilized within the bony tunnels, then by three months the Claimant would have recovered from the procedure with an appropriate course of rehabilitation, and by six months would have returned to his normal sporting activities.

On 13th November 2013, the Defendant finally responded to the letter of claim with a Part 36 offer in the sum of £15,000.00.

The Claimant rejected this on 29th November 2013 and made a counter offer in the sum of £25,000.00.

On 11th December 2013, the Defendant increased its offer to £17,500.00 which the Claimant accepted on 18th December 2013.

If you or a loved one have suffered from medical negligence arising from Anterior Cruciate Ligament surgery click here.

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