Case Study: Missed Dislocation of the Hips in Baby

Compensation: £550,000

All newborn babies should have their hips checked by a doctor for “clicking” (a sign of dislocation). Ifa dislocation is picked up within a few days of birth it can quite often be treated very successfully by placing the baby in a plaster hip cast for several months.  The cast keeps the hips in the correct position and allows them to develop.

Sarah was born with both hips dislocated because the hip socket had not fully developed. The hips were not checked in the few days after her birth, and when they were eventually checked by her GP after two weeks, he found nothing of note.

Sarah was eventually diagnosed at about eight months of age when her parents noticed that her feet were beginning to turn in. She was put in a hip cast for some months and after that was treated conservatively with six monthly check-ups at the hospital.

At aged seven Sarah’s condition began to deteriorate and she underwent surgery to both hips and was again in a cast for a number of months. Unfortunately, she developed foot drop because of pressure from the cast and over the years this has given her a great deal of trouble.

Lasting effects

Although Sarah is reasonably mobile at the moment her hips will steadily deteriorate over time and she is likely to require hip replacements in her mid-30s and at 15-year intervals after that.

The claim

The claim against Sarah’s GP’s for not checking her hips until she was two weeks old was eventually dropped. However, the hospital admitted that Sarah should have had surgery much earlier (aged two or three years) and they also admitted that the surgery she in fact did have aged seven was inappropriate.

Had the correct surgery been performed at an earlier age it is likely that the outcome would have been far better although hip replacement would probably still have been necessary when Sarah was 50.


After a great deal of work, the case was eventually settled by one of JMW’s expert solicitors for £550,000.

Have you and your family also suffered a missed diagnosis?

If you or someone you know has a case for any sort of claim, please do not hesitate to give us a call to discuss the situation and to see whether you could be entitled to compensation. Ring us today on 0800 054 6512, or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our friendly team will get in touch with you. 

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