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Successful claim following insertion of incorrect knee prosthesis

At age 16 years, KV was involved in a serious road traffic accident. She sustained a fractured right femur and ruptured posterior cruciate ligament. The femoral fracture was treated conservatively in traction and healed with a degree of deformity. The posterior cruciate ligament was reconstructed using Gore-Tex in 1988. She then had an Oxford lateral unicompartmental replacement in 2006. Following this surgery she developed increasing problems with osteoarthritis and instability.

On 20 July 2015 she underwent examination under anaesthetic/manipulation. The purpose of this surgery was to prepare KV for a total knee replacement by removing the screws in her femur and tibia. Biopsies were taken and it was noted that KV had instability with a positive pivot shift and posterior cruciate ligament laxity.

On 28 July 2015 KV was advised that she would need a total knee replacement with a posterior restraint which would overcome her instability. Surgery was eventually carried out on 24 April 2017. A cruciate preserving PFC total knee replacement was inserted. Following surgery the knee remained painful and unstable, meaning that KV suffered a number of falls post surgery. At a review appointment on 8 November 2017, KV raised concerns that stems had not been inserted as part of the surgery. The surgeon advised that she was very happy with how surgery had gone and with the stability of the knee, however she also agreed to refer KV for a bone scan and CT scan.

At a further appointment on 28 March 2018. KV was still suffering from significant pain and instability. She was advised that the best way forward would be to have a manipulation under anaesthetic as the x-ray, bone scan and SPECT CT scan showed no reason for the instability. KV was unhappy with the proposed course of further treatment and asked for a second opinion on a private basis. She saw a private consultant on 18 May 2018. He concluded that KV may require further surgery in the form of revision to her knee. The standard PFC posterior cruciate preserving knee replacement along with the lack of posterior cruciate ligament, damaged medial ligaments and atrophied quadriceps was totally unsuitable and was causing the instability. On 20 June 2019 KV underwent revision knee surgery for instability. The surgery was paid for privately under private medical cover.

Whilst KV’s mobility and stability have improved as a result of the revision surgery, she is still taking Morphine and Diazepam on a daily basis. She is still having to use two crutches to get around and spends most of the day laying on the sofa. The painkillers are required because of the problems caused by the knee collapsing over the two year period between the surgery in 2017 and the revision surgery in 2019. As a result of taking these medications KV is very tired, and will often wake multiple times each night because of the pain. She has to wear a knee brace a lot of the time.

We were successfully able to obtain £60,000 in compensation for KV as a result of the Defendant’s negligence. It was our case that the implant used by the Defendant was wholly inappropriate and caused the need for the further revision surgery. Included within the compensation was a recovery on behalf of the private medical insurer and the costs that they had to pay for the surgery. Liability was denied by the Defendant which meant that proceedings had to be issued at Court, however the claim settled before the Defendant filed its Defence.

If you have a similar claim you would like to discuss please do not hesitate to get in touch with Gemma Osgood.


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