Case Study: Restricted Movement and Severe Pain Following Negligent Knee Surgery

Compensation: £48,000

Roger, 39

JMW helped Roger secure £48,000 after negligent ACL surgery left him in severe pain and improvement on the knee stalled for over a year.

Football injury

Roger injured his right knee during a football match. He was taken to hospital where he was assessed and was found to have twisted it badly. After being initially treated he was sent home and an appointment to see an orthopaedic surgeon was sent to him.

Two weeks after his injury Roger saw the surgeon who examined him and found that the knee was still swollen, painful and had restricted movement. The surgeon arranged an MRI scan, which confirmed that the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in Roger’s knee was ruptured. The surgeon discussed the pros and cons of reconstructing his ACL using a graft from his kneecap and he was put on the waiting list for the operation.

Poor outcome

A few months later the operation went ahead and physiotherapy was arranged to help with Roger’s rehabilitation. The physiotherapist found that Roger was unable to straighten his knee and had a restricted range of movement. When she tried to force Roger’s leg back to increase the bend in the knee Roger noticed a crunching sensation and pain at the side of the knee. 

About a month after the operation Roger saw the surgeon at an outpatients' appointment. He found that the knee was still tender. He said he would review the situation in six weeks’ time to see if the knee had settled down.

However about three weeks later Roger took himself to A&E as during a shopping trip the pain in his knee had increased significantly. An examination revealed swelling to the knee but nothing else of great significance. Roger was X-Rayed and sent home and a few days later saw a different consultant at the same hospital. 

The consultant reviewed the X-Rays and said he thought there might be some scar tissue and advised Roger to massage his knee. He also said that there could be an issue with the screw that had been put in his knee during the operation but could not say exactly what it was and they could not now take the screw out. 

The consultant advised Roger that there was no surgical solution to his problem and that the pain, which by this point was excruciating, would settle in time.

Graft removed

Roger’s problems continued and he took time off work to rest his knee to try and achieve some improvement. By this point he was still walking with a crutch. Frustrated by his lack of progress and the poor outcome he had suffered Roger went to see his GP for a referral to a different hospital for a second opinion. 

The orthopaedic surgeon who reviewed his case found that there were several problems with the knee joint and that the graft that had been inserted would have to come out and revision surgery considered in the future. 

A couple of months later, almost a year after Roger injured his knee, the ACL graft was removed. This had an immediate improvement and as well as significantly reducing Roger’s pain he had an improved range of movement.

The claim

Roger had serious concerns about the original operation so contacted the specialist solicitors at JMW for advice. JMW’s Sophie Fox investigated and found it had been carried out to a very poor standard and this had lead to almost a year of suffering for Roger.


After making a claim against the hospital trust Sophie was successful in securing £48,000 in compensation for Roger.  

Have you also suffered from negligent surgery?

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