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Our medical negligence team secured £35,000 in compensation for our client after she received inadequate treatment following bunion correction surgery.
47-year-old Amanda began to experience discomfort in her left foot a year before surgery, this was due to a bunion on her big toe. Her GP referred her to hospital and surgery was recommended. The operation itself was successful and Amanda was instructed to walk around whilst wearing a specialist shoe. She was reassured that everything would be back to normal within six weeks. Three weeks after surgery her foot was reviewed, her wound had healed and she had her stitches removed. All x-rays were noted to be satisfactory and she used her specialist shoe for another four weeks.
The next time she heard from the hospital was two months later, by which point she had developed stiffness in the joint of her big toe as well as swelling and tenderness. Amanda was avoiding putting pressure on her foot which hindered her posture. Two months later she was reviewed again but reluctant to undergo surgery. She asked for physiotherapy instead and nine months after the original surgery was arranged she underwent a short course which did not help.
Almost two years on from the original surgery Amanda had seen no improvement. She was advised to undergo further surgery with the aim of improving her flexibility and to enable her to carry her full weight. Amanda found that following this surgery her range of movement had actually decreased so several more months of physiotherapy were arranged. This again was unsuccessful.
Amanda had a manipulation under anaesthetic plus injections of local anaesthetic and a steroid. These initially helped but her symptoms soon reoccurred. Amanda was left with stiffness which affected her gait and made her prone to tripping. She had pain when she stood or walked for a prolonged amount of time because these activities strained the joint causing aching and discomfort. She also developed mild osteoarthritis in the joint of her big toe.
Before her injury, Amanda enjoyed playing tennis and skiing, neither of which she could do following the surgery. She had two young children and an active family, she felt as though she was missing out on activities she previously enjoyed. Amanda was also struggling at work. She was a teacher and found it increasingly difficult to stand and move around, both during and in-between classes.
The hospital trust admitted they had failed to examine Amanda regularly after the original surgery. They also admitted they had failed to arrange physiotherapy quickly enough following both of the surgeries. It was admitted that if they had treated her properly, her recovery would have been better and she wouldn’t have suffered the loss of function or endured as much pain and suffering.
Our solicitors Elizabeth Marchant and Peter Cutler, under the supervision of Partner Amanda Stevens, secured Amanda damages for her pain, suffering and loss of amenity as well as future treatment costs. She was also awarded money to compensate for the fact that her job security could be affected as a result of practical limitations her foot placed upon her.
Elizabeth discussed the case and said: “What should have been a routine operation ended up being a life changing event for Amanda.
“Her pain and suffering was, unfortunately, wholly unnecessary. We were able to secure her a sum of money to compensate her for that, and also some money that she could use towards future treatment.
“I was pleased to be able to secure an admission of liability and negotiate an early settlement of Amanda’s claim so that she could put the negligence behind her.”
If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of surgery negligence, we may be able to help you claim compensation. See our Medical Negligence Guide for more information.
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