Case studies

£75,000 settlement for claim against negligent private orthopaedic surgeon


We have recently settled a case against a private orthopaedic surgeon for inappropriate and technically unacceptable knee surgery. Our client is in her 60s and had suffered intermittent knee pain for several years. The surgeon had advised against operating. She then had two isolated episodes of immobilising pain and sought his advice. Without further investigations or examination, he told her she needed a partial knee replacement which he performed a couple of months later.

It transpired that our client had a pre-existing condition known as patella alta, where the kneecap sits high and, as a result, may not engage properly when the knee is bent.

We argued that, because the surgeon had not investigated our client properly before operating, the surgery he advised failed to take account of our client’s patella alta. As a result, the surgery he performed held no prospect of improving things for her. We also argued that the surgery was not performed to an acceptable technical standard as the implants the surgeon used were not correctly positioned.

The surgeon failed to recognise the reasons why the surgery was unsuccessful and advised our client to have several further procedures including manipulations under anaesthetic and an Elmslie-Trillat procedure to try to stabilise the knee. Again, these failed to improve her condition. Eventually, she was referred for a second opinion and had to have a total knee replacement (TKR). Even so, she is now left with much pain and significantly impaired mobility, leaving her in need of regular care and assistance as a result of the surgeon’s negligence we alleged in her care.

The case has settled for £75,000 plus our client’s legal costs.


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Penningtons Manches LLP

Penningtons Manches LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. San Francisco is an associated office.

Penningtons Manches LLP