Knee and hip replacements are the most common joint replacements in the UK with over 1 million knee replacements and over 990,000 hip replacements taking place between 2003 and 2017 as reported by the National Joint Registry.
Most of these were performed by the NHS however the private sector also performs a significant number of these operations, including for patients that have been transferred out of NHS care into the private care sector under the Waiting List Initiative. If your joint replacement surgery is contracted out to the private sector, the NHS are still likely to be responsible for your treatment.
Joint replacement surgery is usually necessary when the joint becomes worn or damaged and affects your mobility resulting in pain. The most common reason for joint replacement surgery is osteoarthritis but a joint may be damaged by other conditions or injury.
Primary joint replacement involves the joint being replaced with an implant, or prosthesis, made of metal and plastic components.
Occasionally, primary joint replacements become loose, unstable or painful. This usually requires the original components to be removed and replaced which is a procedure known as revision surgery. Revision surgery is a more complex procedure than primary replacement, often requiring specialist im-plants and tools, and they can have a higher rate of post-surgery complications.
When negligence can occur
Medical negligence occurs when medical professionals do not deliver an acceptable standard of care, caused by human error, oversight or inadequate procedures.
Examples of joint replacement negligence can include:-
- Surgical errors, including misaligned implants, insertion of the wrong sized implant and nerve injury;
- Poor preoperative planning which can include not fully advising the patient of risks, potential outcomes and alternatives, and obtaining informed consent;
- Inadequate postoperative care, leading to infection;
- Unnecessary surgical procedures;
- Misdiagnosis and mistreatment.
How can we help?
As with most operations, there can be complications which are non-negligent. However, if something has gone wrong that was avoidable, or the procedure was not performed to a reasonable standard, and you have suffered unnecessary pain and suffering, you may be able to succeed in pursuing a claim.
A joint replacement compensation claim must be brought to the Court’s attention within three years of the date that you first knew, or could reasonably have been expected to know, that you suffered injury caused by a negligent act or substandard care.
Sills & Betteridge Solicitors have a specialist Medical Negligence team with a wealth of experience and are fully committed to obtaining the best possible outcome for you.
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