Orthopaedic surgery has progressed hugely in recent decades, allowing repairs which could not have been contemplated previously to be undertaken safely, with accuracy and consistency.
Take, for example, the hip replacement; this is now a routine surgical intervention across the globe and allows patients who have been suffering pain and immobility for years to have a second lease of life. The procedure is now so well understood and widely practiced, that patients are able to walk with aid only one or two days post surgery and in many cases, go home after three days. On occasion, however, an orthopaedic surgery can go wrong, with serious and persistent consequences for the person affected.
Our specialist team of medical negligence solicitors understand the physical, emotional, and financial impacts of orthopaedic surgery negligence, not only for the patient but their family too. Due to our considerable experience of dealing with claims of this nature, you can be assured we will fully represent your legal interests in a supportive and empathetic manner.
What type of errors may be made during an orthopaedic surgery?
Orthopaedic surgery is centred around the bones and joints of the skeleton and as a result involve muscles, soft-tissue, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. As such, any orthopaedic surgery if not undertaken correctly can lead to damage to any of these body structures. Surgery may be required due to:
- Degenerative disease (e.g. osteoarthritis)
- Trauma (e.g. due to a fall, car accident, assault)
- Sports injury
- Poor nutrition
- Congenital diseases (e.g. brittle bone disease)
- Damage caused during birth
Errors, while rare, can occur during orthopaedic surgery, including:
- Incorrect or delayed diagnosis of injury or disease
- Failure to explain the risks of surgery, a procedure, or medication
- Mistakes made during surgery
- Surgery to the wrong part of the body
- Damage to nerves, muscles, or soft-tissue
- Incorrect fitting of a prosthesis (e.g. knee or hip replacements), including incorrect sizing
- Incorrect use of equipment or techniques to assist the birth, leading to bone or joint damage
- Damage caused when attempting to realign bones
What are the consequences of orthopaedic surgery negligence?
Depending on the extent of the damage caused, patients may be able to make a full recovery in a relatively short period of time, or the injury may lead to life-long complications, pain, suffering and disability. Patients may be left with immobile joints, inability to walk or weight-bear, severe pain, and loss of sensation due to damaged blood supply or nerves.
Some people may be left unable to return to work, continue studies, care for themselves and others, and continue with life as it once was. It may be necessary to have further medical procedures and therapies to make a partial or complete recovery from the damage caused by orthopaedic surgery negligence.
Can I bring a claim for orthopaedic surgery negligence?
To bring a claim for orthopaedic surgery negligence, it will be necessary to provide evidence that:
- The medical care you received was below a satisfactory standard (i.e. that a competent surgeon would not have made the same error), and;
- This negligence caused you damage or injury.
To prove your case, we will compile evidence, including medical records, and seek expert medical opinion.
What may an orthopaedic surgery negligence claim cover?
Claims following orthopaedic surgery negligence may cover two areas of loss:
- Pain and suffering due to the injury; and
- Specific costs resulting from the injury caused. This may cover costs already incurred, such as transport, accommodation, and medical treatment, and expected future expenses, such as physical therapy and care costs. The costs you receive will be based on the precise injuries suffered and the circumstances of the case.
How Lavelle Partners can assist you in bringing a claim
- Lavelle Partners have successfully managed many cases of orthopaedic surgery medical negligence.
- Our personal injury team, headed by partner, Avril Scally, who herself has over 15 years’ experience in medical negligence claims, place client care at the centre of everything they do.
- From the first moment you speak to one of our solicitors, we will listen to your case carefully and with empathy and will only recommend advancing your case if we believe you have a valid case.
- We have both the legal expertise and understanding of the real-life challenges faced by individuals and their families following such events.
- Our solicitors will manage the process entirely on your behalf; compiling the information necessary for your case, including medical notes and managing the submission of your medical negligence claim.
By allowing us to handle your claim on your behalf, you can focus on what is most important, your recovery and care, or that of your family member or loved one.
For further information on making a claim for orthopaedic surgery medical negligence in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800 or email Avril Scally at [email protected]
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.