Beth, aged 37, attended the Accident & Emergency Department (A&E) of the Royal Free Hospital in February 1995. She had been unable to straighten her right knee for two days.
X-rays showed she had an acute locked knee and she was admitted for an urgent arthroscopy, which is an examination and sometimes treatment of damage of the interior of the knee joint through a small incision.
During the surgery, the orthopaedic surgeon found a large bucket-handle tear to the lateral meniscus (cartilage in the knee). When repairing this, the surgeon damaged Beth's popliteal artery and vein.
Beth subsequently developed a deep vein thrombosis and arterio-venous fistula. She had to undergo further surgery to also needed a vein graft.
Beth now suffers from pain and discomfort in the right leg due to limitation in blood flow. She was unable to return to her part-time job at a local school. There is a significant chance that the vascular supply to the leg will deteriorate during the next 10 years and that further surgery will be required.
Proceedings were served in February 1998 and a trial date was fixed for April 1998. But we were able to negotiate an out of court settlement of £19,000, which Beth was happy to accept.
The case was taken on a no win, no fee basis and the defendant agreed to pay Beth's legal costs.
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