Case study: wrong bone removed during surgery
Denise, 66, was left with on-going pain and poor function in her right hand after a surgeon removed the wrong bone during surgery to treat osteoarthritis. Her case was taken on by Katie Nolan, a specialist solicitor at Hospital Negligence and she was later awarded £37,500 in compensation.
Thumb pain and difficulty gripping objects
Denise had suffered with mild pain in her right hand for several years, which was revealed to be osteoarthritis in her wrist and fingers. Eventually it became more severe and her thumb began to lock spontaneously. Denise had difficulty extending her thumb and gripping objects and the pain was becoming gradually worse.
After being referred to an orthopaedic physiotherapist Denise was given a steroid injection to treat her thumb, which relieved the pain for around three months. However when the steroids wore off Denise’s pain was worse than ever.
Denise was referred by her GP for surgery on her painful thumb, which she was keen to undergo as quickly as possible so that she could regain use of the limb.
At the appointment with the surgeon Denise described her condition and was told she would benefit from a trapeziectomy (removal of the arthritic trapezium bone). Denise was told her hand would be in a cast for four weeks following the surgery and her name was placed on the waiting list.
Incorrect bone removed
Two months later Denise underwent the surgery and when she came round the surgeon came to speak to Denise and her husband to explain that there had been some complications. He said that he had removed Denise’s scaphoid bone in error instead of the trapezium. A screw had been inserted to attempt to correct the error. The surgeon apologised and Denise’s hand was placed in a plaster cast and she was discharged home.
Ongoing issues related to the surgical error
A week after the operation Denise had an appointment with the surgeon to review the condition of her right hand. Denise was told that the screw would need to remain permanently however the surgeon was hopeful that it would heal without any problems.
However Denise went on to suffer on-going problems with the hand including constant pins and needles, pain and weakness. Denise had limited use of the hand and struggled with many everyday tasks. Her right ring finger also began to lock at night which was disturbing her sleep.
An X-Ray revealed that the scaphoid had not healed and it was suggested that Denise undergo another operation to try to fix it, which she was extremely anxious about given the poor outcome from the last lot of surgery. However even with this further surgery Denise was told she would only recover about 50% of the use of her hand.
Denise’s case was taken on by the specialist medical negligence team at Hospital Negligence who were successful in securing her £37,500 in compensation to help her to cope with the poor function in her right hand.
We can help you claim if you have also suffered negligent surgery
If you have had negligent surgery performed on you or a loved one, contact Hospital Negligence today to find out if you can make a claim. Call us on 0800 014 7481, or fill in our contact form. Alternatively, read more about how we can help you.