Case Study: Poor Aftercare Resulting in Amputation of Finger

Compensation: £27,000

Wendy, 27 years old, Peterborough

JMW has helped to secure £27,000 compensation for a woman after negligent aftercare resulted in the amputation of her finger.

The middle joint of Wendy’s right little finger had been permanently flexed since birth (“trigger” finger). As it had become painful and something of a nuisance she decided to have it straightened. This was done as a day case by an orthopaedic surgeon using a K-wire to pin the joint in place. Following surgery the finger was dressed firmly to avoid any bleeding and Wendy was told to come back after 3 weeks to have the dressing and K-wire removed. No complications were anticipated.

The following day Wendy attended her GP as the finger was so painful. The doctor attempted to remove the dressing to inspect the wound but Wendy found this so painful that the attempt was aborted.


The finger continued to be painful and when Wendy attended the clinic 3 weeks later to have the dressing and K-wire removed it was discovered that the middle and end of the finger was gangrenous. Although it was thought that the finger still had some circulation it did not improve and was eventually amputated 10 weeks or so after the initial operation.


The cause of the loss of circulation to the finger and subsequent gangrene was that the dressing had been applied too tightly and had not been checked until it was removed 3 weeks later.


The hospital trust accepted liability for the injury and amputation and made an offer to settle the case of £27,000, which Wendy accepted.

Have you also suffered lasting effects following poor surgery aftercare?

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