54-year-old receives £54,000 settlement following Sussex Hospital’s negligent kneecap surgery

21st June 2019

A 54-year-old male has received £54,000 in a medical negligence settlement after repeat surgery to an inflamed kneecap led to a dangerous blood clot and loss of mobility.

The Claimant, who will be referred to as Paul as he wishes to remain anonymous, accepted the case settlement figure in January 2019 after Western Sussex Hospital NHS Foundation Trust admitted negligent surgical treatment.  

After attending his GP in August 2015 with complaints of ongoing problems with his right knee, Paul has been left with significant scarring and a reduction in his overall mobility, including:

  • An increase in the size of the haematoma (Increased swelling.)
  • The development of compartment syndrome requiring fasciotomies.
  • Evacuation of a large haematoma
  • Subsequent skin grafting and significant scarring (approximately 22cm long medially and 24 x 2 cm, laterally).

He now faces the prospect of a serial excision of the grafted area over three further, separate surgeries.

Fletchers Solicitor’s Litigation Executive, Stephanie Davies represented the Claimant.

Stephanie said:

“As a result of the negligence which occurred in May 2016, the Claimant underwent avoidable surgeries and suffered unnecessarily which impacted on his quality of life.

“I am pleased that he will now be able to undergo a procedure to reduce his ongoing symptoms and hopefully allow him to return to normality and enjoy life to the full again.”

After the initial visit to his GP in August 2015, it was thought that Paul had a painful inflammation in the right kneecap (pre-patellar bursitis) as well as osteoarthritis and likely chronic medial meniscal pathology.

That November Paul was treated with an injection to his left knee.

In January 2016, Paul was reviewed by a Specialist in Orthopaedics and was referred for an MRI scan of both of his knee.

In February 2016, the MRI scan was reviewed which showed that he did have medial meniscus tears bilaterally (a tear to the cartilage attached to the shinbone).

Paul was put on the waiting list for bilateral knee arthroscopies (keyhole surgery) and excision (removal) of the right knee protuberance.

On 18 April 2016, Paul then underwent the planned surgery and in the following May experienced significant swelling to both of his legs, ankles and knees which hampered his mobility.

On 3 June 2016, Paul was then diagnosed with peripheral oedema (accumulation of fluid causing swelling).

His GP ordered a D dimer test (a blood test to detect DVT).

Three days later, upon noting the positive D dimer test result, the GP referred Paul to hospital.

By the time of his attendance there, it was suspected that he was suffering from compartment syndrome (a limb threatening condition) so he subsequently underwent fasciotomy surgery to his lower left leg.

On 10th June 2016, Paul underwent a CT angiogram, which reported that he had an 8cm mass which was thought to be a haematoma (a large solid swelling of clotted blood).

On 11th June 2016, Paul underwent further surgery to evacuate the haematoma and on 16th June 2016, he underwent a split-thickness skin grafting (STSG) to repair his left lower leg.

Although Paul’s wounds have since healed, his skin remains very thin and he suffers with daily aches of the scarred area.

It has been recommended that he undergoes serial (multiple) excisions of the skin-grafted area; which he intends to do later this year.

Paul continues to suffer with cramps, often being woken in the night by pain.

He also suffers from localised discomfort in his leg relating to the fasciotomy scars, including breakdowns and absent sensation on the anterior aspect of his left shin, the area between the two incisions.

Speaking in reflection of the settlement, the Claimant said:

“I am very pleased with Stephanie throughout, thank you very much”

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