With thousands of people being treated for orthopaedic problems every year, it is highly likely that you will know someone who has been seen by the orthopaedic department of their local hospital recently. This could be for a traumatic injury such as a broken leg or a chronic injury such as osteoarthritis.
Unfortunately, negligence in this specialism now occurs two to three times more often than in any other medical field which has led to an increase in the number of medical negligence claims.
What Is Orthopaedic Treatment?
Orthopaedic treatment generally involves the joints, bones and muscles in the body, for example:
- Fractures and trauma to bones, including surgery
- Joint replacement surgery, including hips and knees
- Spinal surgery
- Hand, shoulder and elbow surgery
- Congenital hip disorders, common in breech babies
As medical science progresses, so does the work of the orthopaedic department. Surgical procedures are becoming more routine as technology and training allow these to be less invasive, quicker and easier for the surgeon to perform. Operations such as keyhole surgery and joint replacements are becoming more commonplace.
Treatment of an orthopaedic injury often encompasses a range of specialisms within the NHS, including Accident & Emergency, radiology, orthopaedics, surgery, anaesthetics, nursing, district nursing and physiotherapy. All these areas must work together to ensure they uphold their duty of care to you.
What can go wrong with Orthopedic operations?
Errors can be made at any time during treatment, i.e. at diagnosis, prognosis, choice of treatment or follow up. In turn, this can lead to complications outside the orthopaedic area, such as damage to nerves or infection. Examples of negligence in this area include:
- Delayed / inaccurate diagnosis at either GP or hospital stage
- Poor treatment of fractures
- Failure to perform appropriate tests or delay in doing so
- Misinterpretation of x-rays / blood tests / other test results
- Inappropriate/poor operative technique in surgery
- Poor cleaning of wounds following operative procedures resulting in infection
- Poor follow up including monitoring of wounds and dressings
Problems encountered by patients following such negligence can vary and are not exhaustive. For example, hip replacement surgery that was not performed correctly, could lead to the patient suffering a difference in leg length, which could lead to back problems. Other examples include infection in a surgical site which may delay recovery or stop recovery completely, problems with numbness or even paralysis following damage to a nerve during surgery.
How T G Baynes Solicitors help you?
In addition to managing your claim, our experienced medical negligence team have good links with experienced medico-legal experts. These experts will not only provide their opinion as to whether there has been a breach of duty or causation, but will also give recommendations for treatment. We can request interim payments from Defendants, should liability be admitted, to assist with the cost of treatment which we can help you arrange. Our aim is not only to obtain compensation, but to ensure that your recovery is swift and as easy as possible.
T G Baynes can offer No Win No Fee Agreements (CFAs) on qualifying cases. If you feel that you have suffered medical negligence, please do not hesitate to contact us either by email or on 020 8301 7777