Successful claim for inappropriate spinal surgery which led to no feeling in leg and foot and temporary paralysis

Mrs Watt

In 2010 I unfortunately fell whilst on a boat trip and hurt my back. Due to experiencing a lot of pain, my Doctor referred me to see a consultant spinal surgeon at the local private hospital.  Scans and X-rays were taken and initially I was referred for a course of physiotherapy. Feeling no improvement and still in much pain, I went back to the consultant who suggested I needed a spinal fusion operation to relieve the symptoms.

My first operation was in March 2011. I had some success but I wasn’t pain free. Again I was given physiotherapy and exercises to do, however during one of my sessions I felt a sudden rip and tear. I went back to the surgeon who advised an MRI scan. The surgeon told me that the scan had revealed a shadow where my previous operation had been and that he believed some screws had come loose therefore he needed to perform another operation to fix the issue. The second operation was in August 2011. I was incredibly wary as I’d already been through so much with the first operation.

When I came round from the second operation I knew that something was wrong. I had no feeling in my leg and foot and was suffering with temporary paralysis. Although there was some improvement over time, I never fully recovered and I have impaired movement, something I didn’t suffer with before the operations.

It was whilst at work, when I was explaining to a colleague what had happened that they suggested I speak to a solicitor. I heard an advert for Medical Accident Claimline on the radio and decided to give the number a call. I was quickly put through to Shaun Rylands who listened to my circumstances and said he would look into my case.

In order to get another experts opinion on my spine, Shaun sent me to see a Neurosurgeon. He examined me and looked at my medical history and informed me that in his opinion both operations had been completely inappropriate and had not been required for my symptoms. This was devastating news. The pain and consequential losses associated with the operations themselves had left me in a worse condition than if my back pain had been treated through pain management, something never suggested to me, and now I was told I should never have been advised to have the operations.

On the strength of the evidence and the expert’s opinion, Shaun advised me to bring a case against the surgeon himself. It wasn’t that the surgery had been carried out negligently; it was simply not required and had in fact made my back pain far worse. Shaun told me there was a risk that we would be unsuccessful but felt it was still worth pursuing.

Shaun and his team were truly marvellous. They kept me fully informed from start to finish and were in regular contact with updates. They were always considerate of my needs and dealt with my case with the upmost professionalism.

Initially the Surgeon denied everything but then offers were made. To begin with these were low but then, just before we were due to go to trial in 2016, a substantial offer was made which Shaun advised me to accept.

The fact that we got a settlement was thanks to Shaun and his team. I am extremely grateful and cannot recommend SJP highly enough. Although I am still in much pain and have impaired function in my legs, I am still thankfully able to carry on with life.

Mrs Watt

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