Case Study: Failure to Drain Knee Following Surgery

Compensation: £15,500

A man has received £15,500 compensation after doctors failed to drain his knee following surgery

Robert, 76, from Blackpool, accidentally hit his left knee with a crow bar, badly damaging it. He already had some degenerative changes in the knee joint caused by osteoarthritis and it was decided that he required a total knee replacement, which was performed the same year. The results of the surgery were poor with continuing stiffness and reduced flexion and Robert underwent manipulation of the knee under general anaesthetic on 2 occasions. Unfortunately, this did not lead to any improvement and a revision of the knee replacement was performed.

A second operation

Following the second operation there was initially some improvement but this did not last long. The joint was very swollen and painful, flexion was much reduced and Robert had great difficulty walking. He had physiotherapy but this made little difference.

Two years later further knee X-rays were taken and Robert was lead to believe that everything was normal. In fact a large segment of wound drain can be seen on these films but no action was taken.

Four years of knee discomfort

Robert continued to have problems with his knee for a further two years when more X-rays were performed. These X-rays identified a foreign body in the knee that was identified as part of the drain from the revision surgery. Robert then underwent further surgery to remove the remnant of drain after which time the knee began to improve.

The claim

JMW Solicitors claimed that had the wound drain been totally removed, as it should have been, in all probability the results of the surgery would have been reasonably good and he would have been spared 4 years of pain and anxiety.

The Hospital admitted that the entirety of the drain should have been removed and that the failure to do so amounted to clinical negligence.


Following negotiations, settlement was agreed and Robert received £15,500 compensation.

Have you also had a foreign object left inside you following surgery?

If you or somebody you know has suffered in a similar manner simply call us on 0800 054 6512 or complete our online enquiry form and allow us to contact you. We will discuss your situation with understanding and care, and help you get the outcome you deserve.

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