This clinical negligence case arose from a delay in diagnosis and treatment of ruptured patella tendon and medial retinaculum in his right knee. Consequently, the claimant suffered from stiffness, pain, discomfort and a wasted quadricep. He is unable to weight bear for long periods of time.
In June 2017, the claimant fell and twisted his right knee. He was in significant pain, unable to walk and could not straighten or raise his leg. His kneecap was sitting high up on his leg, on his thigh.
He attended A&E and had an x-ray. The x-ray report documented no bony injury. The claimant was discharged home with a splint, with the advice that his knee had dislocated and then relocated.
Two days later, the claimant attended his GP complaining of severe pain and swelling in his right knee. He was unable to raise his leg. He was referred back to A&E.
Upon attending A&E, the claimant was documented to have pain in his right knee and swelling in his right calf. His previous attendance at A&E was noted. Examination confirmed that the right knee had significant swelling, and the leg was immobile. A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) was suspected (a blood clot that develops within a deep vein in the body). The claimant was given blood thinning injections and booked in for an ultrasound and a further x-ray.
The ultrasound confirmed that there was no evidence of a right leg DVT. The x-ray was delayed. Due to the delay, the claimant booked a private MRI scan. The conclusion was a full thickness tear of the patella tendon and medial retinaculum. Urgent orthopaedic opinion was recommended.
The claimant re-attended A&E where he was admitted and underwent surgery. The claimant underwent a right patella tendon repair/reconstruction.
Despite reparatory surgery and physiotherapy, due to the delay in diagnosis, the claimant suffered from stiffness, pain, discomfort and a wasted quadricep. He remains unable to weight bear for long periods of time. This impacts his hobby of Motocross.
We were contacted by the claimant to investigate a clinical negligence claim. Medical records were requested, and a witness statement obtained from the claimant.
A consultant in accident and emergency medicine was instructed to report on breach of duty and causation. He confirmed that care had fallen below an acceptable standard. Subsequent expert evidence was obtained from a consultant orthopaedic surgeon. This confirmed that earlier diagnosis and treatment would have resulted in a better outcome and avoided the permanent complications.
A letter of claim was sent to the defendant which set out the allegations of negligence.
A response was subsequently received from the defendant admitting liability.
Investigations were undertaken into the claimant’s losses, and a financial settlement was agreed shortly thereafter.
Christina Mallery specialises in claims relating to delays in diagnosis, including orthopaedic injuries. If you would like to ask Christina a question about a potential clinical negligence claim, or if you have a general query about any personal injury claim, contact Christina at Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors on 01892 701183 in confidence.