Case Study: Delay in Diagnosing Dislocation of Hips

Compensation: £270,000

Kelly, 3 years old, Macclesfield

Kelly suffered from a congenital dislocation of the left hip (CDH) which was not diagnosed until she was 3 years old, routine investigations having failed to identify the CDH and despite her parents expressing concerns that she was not walking properly. When the condition was eventually diagnosed, she was admitted to hospital and was treated initially by traction on a frame. She then had the hip immobilised in a plaster cast. She was then put in a splint for 12 months.

Kelly started school slightly late due to the splint and her schooling was affected. As Kelly has got older and into her teenage years, there has been a steady and progressive worsening of the pain in her left groin and it is now more or less continuous. Without pain relief, she is unable to concentrate or to sleep properly which has affected her ability to study.

Long term effects

Kelly's can only walk approximately 100 yards before having to stop. She requires assistance, particularly if she needs to go to the toilet at night and she finds stairs difficult. Kelly's social life is restricted and she has a good deal of time off school, becoming more isolated from her friends as a result.

Degenerative changes are apparent in Kelly's hip and she will require a "holding operation" in order to diminish her pain and a hip replacement by the age of 40 to 45. With successful holding surgery and hip replacement, Kelly will be able to undertake most occupations but she would be unable to undertake most forms of sport. Kelly has a greater than 50% chance of requiring a Caesarean section in the event she becomes pregnant and has children.


JMW Solicitors alleged that it was negligent to fail to detect the CDH before her third birthday. The case was settled and Kelly received £270,000 compensation. 

Have you also suffered a delayed diagnosis?

If you or someone you know has suffered in a similar way, 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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