After several years of pain and difficulties walking Mr G, from North Devon, underwent a left total knee replacement operation at North Devon District Hospital.
Unfortunately, during the operation, the surgeon did not position the prosthetic components correctly, leaving the knee joint unbalanced and the knee ligaments lax. An x-ray taken shortly after surgery showed an uneven gap across the joint. This was not noticed by Mr G’s doctors prior to his discharge.
In the months that followed Mr G suffered with pain in the knee and unsteadiness with the knee suddenly giving way. He could not return to his usual activities and suffered a number of nasty falls.
He was referred back to NDDH and told his problems were due to deterioration in his kneecap (‘patella’). He underwent surgery to resurface his patella. This was painful but made no difference to his condition.
Mr G suffered pain and instability in his knee for another two years before he was eventually sent to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital for a more specialist opinion. The problem with Mr G’s original prothesis was soon spotted and, ultimately, he underwent a revision total knee replacement at the RD&E.
This improved the stability of the knee but came too late in the day to dramatically improve Mr G’s condition. He was left with a permanently painful knee.
Expert evidence obtained to support Mr G’s case indicated that, had his original operation been performed correctly, he would have avoided two unnecessary operations and would have made a good recovery, regaining much of the mobility he previously enjoyed.
Despite strong medical evidence supporting Mr G’s claim, the Defendant denied liability. Court proceedings were commenced and, unusually, the claim went all the way to a contested trial.
After five days in court, with evidence being given by a number of medical experts as well as Mr G and the doctors involved in his care, the trial judge agreed the treatment afforded to Mr G was negligent. The judge awarded £191,500.00 in compensation.