Sylvia Hickman regularly enjoyed dancing and rambling and was a very active person before she was left with excruciating pain following a botched knee replacement.
In April 2012, Sylvia, 80, from Worcester, was referred to by her GP to the MSK-ICATS services, now part of the Redditch and Bromsgrove Clinical Commissioning Group, to alleviate her knee pain, which had worsened as a result of a minor twisting injury.
Sylvia was then referred via the NHS to the BMI Droitwich Spa Hospital for a full right knee replacement, which was conducted in mid-July 2012. After the surgery, Sylvia experienced a significant amount of pain around her knee and returned to the surgeon on numerous occasions because of her slow recovery. Despite complaining that the pain and range of movement was getting worse, the surgeon put it down to tissue strain from the knee correction and just prescribed her with painkillers and physiotherapy.
However, on the 12th December 2012, Sylvia was rushed to A&E in Worcestershire with pain and restricted movement in her knee. An x-ray revealed that her knee was dislocated so she had to undergo a manipulation under anaesthetic to treat it.
Eventually, she was listed for a revision of her total knee replacement, which took place in January 2013 at The Alexandra Hospital – six months after her first knee replacement.
Despite the second operation being successful, Sylvia still suffers significant pain around the knee because it was left dislocated for so long after the first operation. As a result, Sylvia struggles to walk and is unable to enjoy the social activities she did previously, like line dancing. She will now have to use a walking stick for the rest of her life.
Sylvia said: “The amount of pain I was in after the first knee replacement was unbearable and I was shocked that it took over four visits to the hospital for them to realise something was very wrong. I am upset that I am no longer able to do the activities I did before or get around as easily. My life has been deeply affected.”
After she noticed there was something wrong with her treatment, Sylvia contacted us to help; we discovered during investigations the surgeon had failed to put the replacement knee in properly and ignored warnings about checking the knee’s rotation.
The NHS Commissioning Board accepted liability that the total knee placement was substandard and Sylvia received an undisclosed sum of compensation for her injuries.
Nina Sahu, one of our senior solicitors who handled Sylvia’s case, said: “The NHS failed to perform the first total knee replacement to an acceptable standard and as a result, it caused Ms Hickman a serious amount of pain, instability and dislocations. We are pleased that we have been able to obtain justice for Sylvia and that the compensation will support her ongoing care and mobility.”
Following the settlement of her case, Sylvia said: “I’ve suffered a lot because of my injuries but Fletchers always felt like a steadying hand in the background during the claim. I now feel like I have been given the courage to move on and I can’t thank Fletchers enough.”