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Delay In Recognising Screw Used During Surgery Was Causing Ongoing Pain

Susan brought an action against a local NHS Trust for negligence in failing to recognise that a screw that had been inserted into her foot during surgery to repair her fallen arch, was rubbing against her bone and causing pain.

Susan was aged 44 when she underwent surgery to repair a fallen arch in her left foot. Following the surgery Susan was in significant pain and explained to her surgeon that her foot was very painful. Susan was advised that the pain she was suffering was to be expected and that it would resolve in time.

A month or so later the pain was so bad that Susan attended her local A&E department who advised Susan to see her surgeon about the ongoing pain. Susan had several follow up appointments with the Orthopaedic department where she had the surgery and on each occasion she explained how painful her foot was. Susan had x-rays taken of her foot and was told that her foot was healing well, and that the pain she was continuing to experience would resolve in time.

About 10 months or so following the surgery Susan visited her GP because she was still in a lot of pain and was having difficulties in standing for long periods of time. Susan’s GP referred her back to the Orthopaedic department where she had previously had the surgery. Susan had an MRI scan of her foot which confirmed that the screw that had been used during the surgery was rubbing against her bone. Susan had surgery to remove the screw and since then Susan’s pain has improved significantly.

We investigated Susan’s claim and obtained expert evidence from an Orthopaedic Consultant. We were able to prove that the clinicians treating Susan should have realised at around 5 months after Susan’s surgery that the screw was rubbing on the bone, because it was evident in x-rays taken 5 months after Susan’s surgery. As a result of the delay in diagnosis Susan suffered 8 months of pain and suffering which could have been avoided.

Susan pursued a claim against the hospital with the assistance of Jemma Watson and was awarded £15,000 in compensation.

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