November 27, 2020

£90,000 for nerve damage following negligent operation at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Our claimant first attended the A&E department of Hammersmith Hospital in London having fractured his left humerus playing sports. It was recorded that there was a neuro-vasular deficit. He underwent open reduction and internal fixation surgery. There was no record that the radial nerve was inspected as safe during the surgery, afterwards it was noted that he had marked wrist drop in his left arm. It was initially thought that the injury was neurapraxic..

The man’s symptoms did not improve and he was later diagnosed with a dense radial nerve palsy and evidence of complete wrist drop. He underwent nerve conduction studies and exploratory surgery. During the operation it was recorded that the radial nerve had been damaged during the first operation by becoming trapped and crushed under the plate used to fix the fracture and that as a result a large segment of the nerve was missing. Following the exploratory operation, it was recommended that he should undergo a tendon graft procedure with a view to improving hand function.

The man experienced stiffness, reduced sensation and dexterity in his left forearm, and weakness in his wrist and hand and in extending his thumb. There was reduced sensitivity in the radial nerve distribution, reduced grip strength to between 60 and 70 per cent, and restricted movement in his elbow flexion and extension and forearm supination and pronation. Our client underwent two additional operations on the site and as a result had extensive and unsightly scarring on his left arm.

He was also unable to play sport as before, perform any household tasks which involved heavy lifting and he experienced some difficulty when undertaking some bi-manual activities, such as using a computer.

The case was settled out of court.

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