Case Study: Negligent Post-Operative Care Leads to Neurological Problems

Compensation: £400,000

William, 63 years old, Stoke on Trent

William had always been extremely keen on walking and mountaineering. He had suffered from problems with arthritis since his 50’s and had two cartilage operations to one of his knees. He continued his hill walking activities, but on a much-reduced scale.

However, when William was 63 years old, he began to experience problems with pain in his back extending into his leg. He was referred by his GP to a private Consultant. Following an outpatient examination, it was suggested that it was likely that there was stenosis of the spinal canal at the L4/5 level and suggested that if this was confirmed by MRI scanning that the William would be a "very good candidate for surgery to relieve the stenosis with a good chance of getting him back to serious hill walking".

Following this, various further investigations were carried out and William was eventually admitted to a specialist Orthopaedic Hospital for an operation described as "L3-5 decompression and stabilisation". The operation was carried out on a private basis, however, William was on an NHS Ward.

From the day of surgery, until he underwent further surgery, William demonstrated progressive neurological deterioration caused by the presence of an extradural haematoma, which was eventually evacuated.

Lasting effects

William was left with significant motor and sensory deficit which means that he cannot walk except with crutches and that his preferred method of getting around is by wheelchair.

The claim

It was alleged that there a delay in the performance of exploratory surgery following the initial operation despite entries in the nursing notes which indicated neurological deterioration. Had William been appropriately treated post-operatively his neurological and functional recovery would have been full.

The case was successful and settled. William received £400,000 compensation.

Have you or a loved one also suffered negligent post-operative care?

If you or anyone you know has been affected by any of the topics discussed above and require advice and guidance on your particular situation, simply get in touch with our expert and friendly team.

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