Summary

Our client, Mr W, developed foot pain in early 2011, which podiatric surgeons diagnosed as a bunion and toe clawing. In June 2011, Mr W underwent a ‘Stainsby’-style arthroplasty. The surgery was unsuccessful, and our client continued to experience pain, which affected his mobility. In February 2012, he then endured further podiatric surgery, extending the skin using a V-Y plasty and temporary stabilisation with a K-wire, which was also unsuccessful.

In September 2014, due to ongoing difficulties, our client’s GP referred him to an orthopaedic surgeon at another Trust who performed a 2nd, 3rd and 4th metatarsal Weil's osteotomy, which resolved our client’s symptoms.

Following the first operation, Mr W suffered avoidable pain and immobility for three years, meaning he was unable to accept a new job, resulting in a significant loss of earnings. When Mr W came to us, he was concerned that the podiatric surgeons at the first Hospital NHS Trust failed to recognise the underlying cause of his symptoms properly and subsequently performed inappropriate or inadequate operations in June 2011 and February 2012.

Our role

We advised Mr W in bringing a clinical negligence claim against the Defendant Hospital NHS Trust. We consulted with an independent orthopaedic surgeon, specialising in foot and ankle surgery, to provide an expert report and opinion on negligence.  We also had to address difficult issues including what constituted reasonable surgical practice at the time, whether the first two operations were avoidable, and the extent of pain and suffering caused.

Outcomes

Shortly after issuing and serving Court proceedings we successfully negotiated a sizable compensation settlement for our client, which included compensation for his lost earnings when he was unable to work for a number of years. The compensation will give Mr W some financial security and also ease some of the worry and stress he went through.

Christopher Frankling, Executive, assisted in this case.

 Please see our ebriefing on the difference between a Consultant Podiatric Surgeon and a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon.