Orthopaedic Surgery Claims
Knee Surgery Claims Solicitors
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How common are knee-related problems?
Knee-related injuries can generally be divided into two areas:
Injuries related to wear and tear
Sudden acute injuries caused by trauma
Over time, our knee joints are subjected to a great deal of wear and tear, whether it is walking to and from the shops, to bending while we sit at our desk chairs. This is especially prominent in older people or those with an active lifestyle.
This wear and tear can gradually cause the knee joint and ligaments to deteriorate, which can lead to persistent pain, instability and limited movement.
Knee injuries can also be caused by sudden trauma, such as a road traffic accident, slipping on a wet surface, or falling off a ladder. This impact could cause muscle and ligament tears, fractures and further damage that can only be resolved by knee surgery.
Common causes of knee pain can include:
How are knee problems diagnosed?
Following a medical history and physical examination conducted by a healthcare professional, the source of a potential knee problem may be investigated in several ways:
- CT scans
- MRI scans
A healthcare professional may also perform an examination under anaesthetic (EUA) and/or a manipulation under anaesthetic (MUA).
An EUA involves checking inside the knee with a camera to identify any reasons behind their patient’s problems. An MUA is a minimally invasive procedure which aims to relieve chronic pain and reduce stiffness by moving joints to a full range of motion. This might resolve the patient’s issues without the need for more invasive surgery.
In all circumstances, the symptoms highlighted by the patient and the results of any tests performed should determine the most suitable treatment. If investigations are not conducted to a reasonable standard, this could lead to avoidable delays in treatment, and allow someone’s knee problems to worsen before they receive treatment.
If your wellbeing, lifestyle, treatment options and prognosis have been affected by a delay in treating your knee injury, you could be entitled to claim for medical negligence.
What types of knee replacements and knee surgeries are there?
There are several types of knee procedures that someone can undergo to address their pain, lack of mobility or instability. These include:
Knee replacement surgery
A knee replacement surgery, also known as arthroplasty, is an operation that involves replacing a damaged, worn or diseased knee with an artificial joint. Damaged cartilage and bone may be removed from the knee joint in one of three areas:
The lower end of the femur (thigh bone)
The upper end of the tibia (shin bone)
The backside of the patella (kneecap)
Knee ligament surgery
If someone tears their anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), this can make the knee unstable so that it gives way. ACL reconstruction surgery removes what remains of the torn ligament and replaces it with a tendon from another part of the leg, such as the hamstring or patellar tendon.
The meniscus is a C-shaped piece of cartilage that behaves as a shock absorber between your femur and tibia. If this is torn as a result of twisting your knee during sport or an accident, or a degenerative tear as a consequence of old age, you may require surgery to repair the damage or undergo a transplant.
A kneecap realignment, also known as lateral release surgery, is performed when the kneecap is not sitting as it should at the bottom of the thigh bone (femoral groove) and is tilting towards the outside of the knee.
This procedure is performed arthroscopically (keyhole surgery), where the surgeon cuts through the connective tissue that is pulling the kneecap out of position, in order to release the tension in this area.
What can go wrong during knee surgery?
During knee reconstruction and replacements, every decision a surgeon makes can impact on the patient. A lapse in concentration or error in judgement can have significant consequences, from reduced or complete loss of function in the knee to, in the most severe cases, amputation.
Surgical complications that can occur during these procedures include:
- Replacement ligaments during reconstruction surgery being too long or too short. If the ligament is too long, this can lead to instability while standing or moving. If the ligament is too short, it may prevent the knee from bending properly
- The tunnel a surgeon makes in the bone to pass new tissue through may be incorrectly placed, leading to future problems
- The prosthesis selected in a knee replacement may be too large or too small for the patient, resulting in pain, limited mobility or instability
- There is a risk of infection through an open wound during surgery, which could be transferred through the prosthesis that is being installed
- The surgeon could damage nerves or blood vessels, which if left undetected could cause muscle wastage or the permanent death of nerves
If you or a loved one has been affected by any of the above situations or another complication during knee surgery, we can help you secure the compensation that you deserve for any pain, suffering or loss of amenity experienced.
It is important to note that if the prosthesis implemented during surgery malfunctions, and the surgeon could not have foreseen this, this would not be a medical negligence claim. Instead, it would be a product liability claim.
How can issues caused by knee surgery impact your life?
When a knee surgery or a knee replacement goes wrong, this can cause numerous problems, including:
Reduced mobility or range of movement
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Damage to arteries, nerves and ligaments in the knee
Depending on the nature and the extent of the damage you sustained during surgery, it can have short and long-term consequences on your financial situation, emotional wellbeing and overall quality of life.
For example, you may need to undergo corrective surgeries to repair the damage caused. This may require you to take more time away from work than originally intended to undergo these additional procedures and so incur loss of earnings.
You may also require ongoing treatments, such as physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, to help improve knee function as well as to help manage the pain and discomfort you now face due to the injuries sustained during surgery.
If the mobility of your knee and lower limbs has been significantly impacted by a surgical error, this could cause dramatic changes to your lifestyle:
You may find it more challenging to move around the home or climb stairs
You may no longer be able to drive your car or travel to your workplace, and therefore need access to different forms of transportation
You may no longer be able to run, exercise or take part in sports or other hobbies
You may find it harder to go out and socialise with others, affecting your mental and emotional health
You may need to rely on others more for support, limiting your independence
By making a knee surgery claim, you could receive compensation that can help you improve the areas of your life affected by your injury.
How do you prove a knee injury claim?
When investigating a knee surgery claim, we will also work with an impartial knee surgeon, who is both actively working and understands the legal and medical tests we require of them. Their expertise helps us to determine:
Whether your surgeon or another healthcare professional breached their duty of care towards you
Whether your surgeon’s actions or inactions directly caused the pain and suffering you experienced
How your circumstances have changed, and what support you need moving forward
This insight plays a crucial role in proving that your injuries were the result of negligence, and quantifying the value of your compensation claim.
How can knee surgery claim compensation help me?
While compensation cannot undo what happened to you, it can provide you with essential financial assistance to help you in everyday life. This includes (but is not limited to):
Further surgeries and corrective procedures
Ongoing therapies, such as physiotherapy and hydrotherapy
Adaptations to the home, such as stairlifts and wetrooms
Adaptations to vehicles
Aids and equipment, such as walking sticks, crutches and wheelchairs
Loss of earnings
Our experienced team works tirelessly to achieve the outcome you deserve, so you can return to the position you were in prior to your injury or, where this is not possible, to help you and your family adjust to life after your injuries.
Our case study on Mr F is a helpful example of how the compensation awarded in a knee surgery claim is determined based on the unique repercussions faced by the claimant:
How long can knee surgery claims take to settle?
We don’t like to put a timeline on medical negligence claims, as each one is unique and the time to resolution can vary greatly. The timeline can also be affected by:
The stance taken by the defendants
How long it takes for medical experts to reach their answers
How long do I have to make a claim?
Generally, a knee injury compensation claim must be made within 3 years of when the injury was noticed. However, children making a claim have until their 21st birthday, and there is no time limit for anyone who is mentally incapacitated.
Furthermore, the Court does have discretion to allow a claim to be brought out of time. Please contact us and we can discuss your specific circumstances.
Where do I start with a knee surgery or knee replacement claim?
If you have been affected by a poorly performed knee surgery, or another orthopaedic surgery error, we are ready to help you start your claim and achieve the compensation and answers you deserve.
At Gadsby Wicks, we have specialised in medical negligence since 1993, helping people across Essex, East Anglia and beyond pursue their right to justice:
We can fund your claim on a no win, no fee basis
We are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority
We were the first firm in England to have two or more lawyers accredited as clinical negligence specialists by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
Three of our solicitors are also accredited by the Law Society’s Clinical Negligence Accreditation Scheme
We have in-house medical professionals to assist with your case
Take your first step towards securing you and your family’s financial future by getting in touch with our team today:
If any of the above sounds familiar, we can work with you to determine if you have a case. Our legal and medical specialists will ensure you get the best possible outcome.