Negligent hip surgery and orthopaedic follow up

Mr X sustained a closed fracture to the neck of the femur and his left hip following a fall. He underwent an internal fixation (a surgical procedure to add implants to repair the bone).

At review 2 weeks post-op, it was noted to be doing fine and mobilising well. At further review Mr X felt his left hip was weak but there was no pain. He was walking with an abnormal gait (unable to walk in the usual way). An x-ray taken that day reported that the fracture was holding up well and the implant was in situ.

He was referred for physiotherapy having developed marked swelling to the entire limb and associated pain and was struggling with mobility.

After physio the pain had not ceased and he felt a lot of weakness in his left leg. He was referred for more physiotherapy and Piriformis Syndrome was suspected. Piriformis syndrome is a condition in which the piriformis muscle, located in the buttock region, spasms and causes buttock pain.

His GP referred him back to hospital due to ongoing severe pain and he was reviewed around 4 months after the original operation and referred for a CT scan on his pelvis. X-ray revealed a non-union and slight mal-rotation of the fracture.

He was seen in the pain clinic and then had a total hip replacement and a further operation to remove the trochanteric claw device used in her surgery.

It was alleged the incorrect components (screws/nails) were used at the time of the index surgery and that there was then a failure to diagnose the substantial displacement which delayed revision surgery. Absent negligence, Mr X would have avoided the need for revision and associated surgeries as well as the extended period of pain and discomfort.

Liability was admitted Mr X received financial damages.