Case Study: Hip-Slipped Epiphysis

Compensation: £35,000

Roger, 14 years old, Grantham

When Roger reached puberty he started to get pain in his right knee and groin. His mother took him to the GP who felt that this may be growing pains. However, as his Mum wanted a second opinion, the GP made a routine orthopaedic referral to the local hospital.  He made no clinical examination of Roger's hips and legs and reassured Roger that previous X-rays were OK and advised taking extra calcium.

Roger was seen in the orthopaedic clinic over 2 months later where it was noted that he was dragging his right leg and walking with an obvious rotation of the leg. All movement in the leg and hip was extremely limited. An X-ray showed a moderate slipped upper femoral epiphysis (SUFE) of the right hip.

Roger underwent surgery the following morning to stabilize the right hip by pinning the epiphysis back into place. However, he continued to experience pain in the right hip and a year later it was realised that he had a degree of femoral acetabular impingement. Further surgery was carried out.

The claim

JMW Solicitors alleged that had the GP made a clinical examination, the degree of slippage of the right epiphysis would have still been only mild, whereas 2 months later it had become moderate. Roger would still have required an operation but the degree of damage would have been less severe. This increased damage means that he will require a hip replacement in his mid-40's rather than in his mid 50's, as would have been the case had he received more timely treatment. Roger may well have avoided the second operation had the SUFE been treated 2 months earlier.


The GP admitted breach of duty (negligence) and causation (that the negligence caused an injury) and the case was settled. Roger received £35,000 compensation.

Have you or a loved one also suffered negligent care?

If you or someone you know has a case for any sort of orthopaedic 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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