Compensation for failed ankle fusion
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Our client had arthrodesis surgery to fuse his ankle joint. Following surgery he was placed in a cast and told not to weight bear for six weeks. When the cast was removed he realised that his foot had set at an angle. He was given crutches and a support boot by his physiotherapist and told to start weight bearing. The consultant assured him that the position of his foot would correct itself.
Approximately six months after the surgery, and following a course of physiotherapy, our client was told that his ankle had failed to fuse correctly. He underwent further surgery to correct the position of the ankle. This led to him developing a wound infection requiring prolonged antibiotics and more surgery to wash the joint out. He then went back into the operating theatre to have the metal work removed due to infection.
Our client raised a complaint with the Health Board about the standard of his medical treatment and his resulting failed ankle fusion. After an investigation the board accepted that the physiotherapist had told him to weight bear too early following surgery, but they denied this incorrect advice had resulted in the need for the subsequent surgical procedures.
It was at this point that he turned to us for help. We reviewed his case and agreed to make a compensation claim for the failed ankle fusion on a no win, no fee basis.
We obtained our client's full hospital records and carried out a detailed investigation of the medical treatment he had received. An expert medical report was obtained from a consultant orthopaedic surgeon which established that his ankle had fused at the wrong angle and that the physiotherapy contributed to this failure.
The compensation claim for failed ankle fusion was presented on the basis that the surgery had been substandard and the subsequent rehabilitation had resulted in our client needing to undergo additional, avoidable procedures coupled with a prolonged period of recovery. This resulted in an out of court settlement being agreed with our client receiving compensation of £20,000 plus costs.