Failed to identify nerve damage caused during operation

18 May 2021 | Nicholas Leahy

The Clinical Negligence team at Osbornes Law have this week successfully negotiated the settlement of a case in which our client sustained a serious injury to her superficial peroneal nerve during surgery to her right ankle in September 2014. The case was settled at a virtual Joint Settlement Meeting, with the legal teams for the Claimant and the Defendant NHS Trust meeting via Zoom in an attempt to resolve the case. Our client was represented by Nick Leahy, a solicitor in the Clinical Negligence team, Andra Popoiag, a paralegal in the Clinical Negligence team, and Helen Pooley (Counsel) of 9 Gough Chambers.

Our client, IM, sustained a fractured ankle in an accident in Romania in September 2014. She travelled back to the UK where she attended the Accident and Emergency Department of her local hospital Trust. She was told that she had fractured her ankle and would need an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure. The operation took place on 7 September 2014. During the procedure, the surgeon damaged IM’s superficial peroneal nerve. This was not identified during the procedure. Following the surgery IM immediately began to complain of sharp pain and numbness in her lower right leg, ankle and foot, which had not been present prior to the operation. However, she was told that this was normal.

IM was later discharged from hospital and she attended various follow up appointments over the next few months. At an appointment on 25 November 2014 she reported right ankle stiffness to her surgeon. No proper examination took place and she was simply referred for physiotherapy. She attended the physiotherapy sessions as arranged but this did not alleviate her symptoms.

Almost 2 years later, on 6 September 2016, IM reported pain in the lateral aspect of her right foot which localised over and around the metalwork. She also complained of pins and needles in the lateral aspect of her foot which radiated down to the third and fifth toes. She was told the metalwork would be removed in an operation and then she would have a scan.

The removal of the metalwork took place on 8 October 2016. Following this operation IM was told that the surgeon had damaged a nerve in her ankle during the original procedure that took place on 7 September 2014. She was immediately referred to neurosurgeons at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH).

The doctors at RNOH investigated and eventually they performed a nerve exploration, neurolysis and nerve graft on 4 October 2017. IM was told that her symptoms would improve thereafter. However, by 6 March 2018, although IM had reported her pain had improved slightly, she still had a burning sensation and possibly regeneration pain too. The team at RNOH decided to try alternative treatment and this included the application of Capsaicin patches to try to reduce the hypersensitivity in her foot. IM underwent several of these procedures but they offered little relief to her symptoms.

IM has recently been referred to the pain management clinic at a major London hospital in an attempt to manage her continuing neuropathic pain.

Nicholas Leahy of Osbornes was instructed by IM in March 2019 to pursue a claim against the NHS Trust. Following initial investigations, a Letter of Claim was sent to the hospital in May 2019, and a response was received in November 2019. The NHS Trust admitted that the surgeon had failed to identify the nerve injury during the operation, but argued that the nerve injury was caused non-negligently and that the nerve had been damaged irreparably during the procedure, such that any later diagnosis would not have made a difference to IM’s outcome.

IM’s legal team obtained evidence from a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, a Consultant in Peripheral Nerve Surgery and a Consultant in Pain Management, which was supportive of her case.

The case raised complex issues on both breach of duty, causation and quantum, and negotiations took place with the Defendant’s solicitors during the course of 2020. Various offers of settlement were made by both parties however no agreement could be reached and so in March 2021 the Defendant’s solicitors agreed to attend a Joint Settlement Meeting, via Zoom, in an attempt to resolve the case.

The JSM took place on 10 March 2021 and IM was represented by Helen Pooley of 9 Gough Chambers, Nick Leahy and Andra Popoiag, both of Osbornes. Some important aspects of IM’s case continued to be in dispute, including the type and cost of the treatment which had been recommended by the pain management expert (the cost of neuromodulation treatment). However after just two hours of negotiation the parties were able to agree settlement.

The sum IM has received will enable her to have the neuromodulation treatment which was recommended by the pain management expert and also to take part in a residential pain management programme at a private London hospital to attempt to alleviate her symptoms. Additionally, a sum was agreed to reflect the prolonged period of pain and suffering which IM has endured since the date of her first operation.

Share this article

Contact

Contact us today

For a free initial conversation call 020 7485 8811

Email us Send us an email and we’ll get back to you






    Related InsightsVIEW ALL

    1. Cancer treatment in a modern medical private clinic
      21.9.2023

      Delayed laryngeal cancer diagnosis

      Actress receives financial award after life-changing missed cancer diagnosis. Jodi Newton acted for a client who was belatedly diagnosed with...

      Read more
    2. Cancer treatment in a modern medical private clinic
      21.9.2023

      Delayed cervical cancer diagnosis claim

      Jodi Newton acted for a woman who died following a delayed cervical cancer diagnosis. The deceased could have been diagnosed...

      Read more
    3. model of a spine
      19.9.2023

      Spinal Fracture Case Settles for 6-figure Sum

      Spinal Fractures following cessation of Denosumab injection Stephanie Prior was instructed in a claim against Mid and South Essex NHS...

      Read more
    4. Beautician hold syringe for young female client
      13.9.2023

      Delayed skin cancer diagnosis

      We are pleased to have successfully settled a client’s claim for a delayed cancer diagnosis – Basal Cell Carcinoma (“BCC”)....

      Read more
    5. Fatal Medical Negligence Claim
      1.8.2023

      Fatal Claim: Failure to Treat Bowel Condition

      Jodi Newton, a Partner in the Clinical Negligence Department at Osbornes Law, has recently settled a long running case against...

      Read more
    6. hospital
      19.6.2023

      Prison Healthcare Negligence

      Nicholas Leahy, a solicitor in the Clinical Negligence Department at Osbornes Law, has  recently successfully settled a long running case...

      Read more
    7. Confidential file
      11.4.2023

      Osbornes Instructed After Local Authority Data Breach

      Osbornes Law has recently negotiated a settlement on behalf of two clients who had their personal information inadvertently released to...

      Read more
    8. baby hand in mothers hand
      7.3.2023

      5-figure settlement for infusion leak to mother

      Elline Demetriou has reached another successful outcome for a Claimant, who pursued a post C-section birth injury to mother claim...

      Read more
    9. water
      9.2.2023

      Perineal Tear case settles for 6-figure sum

      Birth Injury Lawyer, Stephanie Prior recently settled a claim relating to a woman who delivered her baby after a traumatic...

      Read more
    10. dentist
      23.1.2023

      Court avoided after settlement agreed in dental negligence...

      The Medical Negligence team have recently negotiated the settlement of a complex dental negligence case. Our client experienced a number...

      Read more
    11. Doctor With Stethoscope And Files
      13.1.2023

      Delayed diagnosis of appendiceal cancer

      The medical negligence team at Osbornes Law has recently settled a case involving a patient who passed away following a...

      Read more
    12. hands of surgeon
      14.12.2022

      Successful settlement for negligent care during kidney transplant...

      Claimant v Royal Free London NHS Trust Osbornes have reached a settlement agreement on behalf of a Claimant who brought...

      Read more
    13. Modern dental office interior
      10.11.2022

      Successful claim against dental practice after negligent treatment

      Osbornes Law have reached another successful outcome for a client, who pursued a claim against dental practitioners due to medical...

      Read more
    14. pregnant lady making a heart shape
      2.10.2022

      Osbornes Act for Family after Tragic Stillbirth

      Birth Injury lawyer Nicholas Leahy is acting for a young woman who had a water birth at home and two...

      Read more
    15. child with blue paint on hands
      2.9.2022

      Life-changing Injuries during birth

      Claim after mother and baby suffered life-changing injuries during birth Jodi is acting for both mother and baby in a...

      Read more
    16. Medical doctor in empty hospital corridor
      1.8.2022

      Successful settlement for birth injury that led to...

      Stephanie Prior’s case relating to the death of Gabriela Pintilie has been settled and approved by the High Court....

      Read more
    17. Doctor
      6.7.2022

      GP Negligence claim leading to fatality successfully settled

      Osbornes acted for a Claimant who brought proceedings on behalf of the estate of her late son, X, relating to...

      Read more
    18. Neglijenta medicala spital din UK
      23.5.2022

      Justice for client who suffered serious birth injuries

      The birth injury lawyers at Osbornes Law have recently negotiated the settlement of a case in which our client sustained...

      Read more
    19. Female surgeon wearing surgical mask
      14.4.2022

      Severe abdominal pain prolonged due to failed surgery

      Jodi Newton was instructed in a claim against London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust where our client suffered serious...

      Read more
    20. Anatomy of Shoulder
      23.3.2022

      Nerve injury following bowel surgery

      Stephanie Prior was instructed in a claim against Luton & Dunstable University Hospital where our client sustained an injury to...

      Read more
    21. Pregnant Woman and Gynecologist Doctor at Hospit
      2.2.2022

      Child Left with Brain Injuries at Birth

      Osbornes Law specialises in assisting families who have experienced birth injuries. We have represented families who have faced the loss...

      Read more
    22. Female surgeon with medical reports running
      31.1.2022

      Recent fatal medical negligence cases

      Osbornes Law specialises in helping families who have suffered a fatality due to inadequate medical care. Our specialist team is...

      Read more
    23. Cancer treatment in a modern medical private clinic
      31.1.2022

      Melanoma misdiagnosis negligence claim

      Jodi Newton is acting for a client with a melanoma on her foot, which the dermatologist diagnosed as benign. Concerned...

      Read more
    24. Hospital sign NEUROLOGY
      31.1.2022

      Recent Brain Injury Client Stories

      Osbornes Law specialises in helping families who have suffered a brain injury as a result of medical negligence. Our specialist...

      Read more

    VIEW ALL