Unnecessary second surgery results in settlement

Posted by Joanna Rzepecka, 31st July 2019
An unnecessary second surgery resulted in £4,500 compensation for Charlie* after our Clinical and Medical Negligence team investigated the claim.

Charlie was referred to an orthopaedic surgeon by his GP due to pain in his right little toe when walking. His toe was examined and he was advised that he needed surgery.

The original plan for surgery, as explained to Charlie, was to perform surgical removal of the soft tissues (also called debulking) and the underlying bones in order to help relieve the pain he was experiencing.  However during the operation the surgeon only removed the soft tissue and not the bones. Charlie was not made aware of this as he was discharged and so expected the toe to heal and the problem to have been rectified.

Six months after the procedure, Charlie returned to his GP as despite the surgery his toe was still causing him significant pain. He was referred back to his orthopaedic surgeon who sought advice on further management from a colleague. Subsequently an x-ray was taken, which confirmed that no bony resection had taken place as planned during the first surgery.

Charlie felt extremely disappointed that the original plan for surgery had not been followed or communicated to him. He was anxious about having another operation but undertook the recommended second surgery which removed the outgrowth on the bone and performed the required interphalangeal joint fusion.

Following his second surgical operation, Charlie contacted the clinical negligence team at Blake Morgan. Specialist Joanna Rzepecka reviewed his medical records and identified that incorrect surgery had initially been undertaken which meant he had to undergo an unnecessary second procedure. This would have been avoided had the first surgery been performed to an acceptable standard. The Defendant admitted the breach of duty of care and the case settled shortly after this.

If you have suffered from a similar experience and are concerned you may have had unnecessary surgery, contact our Clinical and Medical Negligence team, who will be able to give you expert advice and let you know if you have a potential claim.

* Names have been changed in this article to protect client confidentiality.

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