My Knee Replacement Surgery Has Gone Wrong – How Do I Claim?

This guide will explain what steps you could take if your knee surgery has gone wrong. In particular, we will focus on knee replacement operations which have not been successful.

People may need to have a knee replacement operation if their knee joint is no longer functional or causes pain. The aim of the operation is to reduce pain and increase mobility in patients. Because it’s a serious surgical procedure, it will usually only be offered where other treatment has not been effective.

knee surgery gone wrong

Knee surgery gone wrong claims guide

However, if your knee replacement operation has gone wrong because of medical negligence, you may have experienced additional harm or a worsening of your initial condition. In this case, you could make a medical negligence claim. You could claim compensation for negligence in private healthcare or publicly funded healthcare.

Please get in touch with our team, and if you are eligible to claim, a skilled solicitor from our panel can work on your claim.

  • See if you can claim online.
  • Call 0800 652 3087 to speak with an advisor
  • Use the live chat feature at the bottom of this page

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Knee Surgery Gone Wrong – An Overview

Knee replacement surgery may be offered to people whose knee joint is worn away, damaged or diseased. For example, the patient may have osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The knee joint is replaced with an artificial joint.

There are two types of knee replacement surgery:

  • Total knee replacement surgery, where surgeons replace both sides of the knee
  • Partial or half-knee replacement surgery, where the surgeon only replaces one side of the knee joint

What Is Medical Negligence?

When patients receive medical treatment, the practitioner owes them a duty of care. In other words, the practitioner must provide the patient with an acceptable standard of medical care.

Medical negligence occurs when the patient receives substandard medical care and this causes them harm. Consequently, a patient may become ill or injured, or their condition may worsen because of medical negligence.

Medical Negligence Assist can help people whose knee replacement has gone wrong as a result of a breach of duty of care. If your knee replacement led to further avoidable harm, please call our team to see if you could make a medical negligence compensation claim.

What Are The Signs Of Knee Replacement Failure?

There are complications that can arise as a result of knee surgery. For example:

  • A patient could develop deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and blood clots in the leg after surgery.
  • A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot in the lung. This could cause chest pains or breathlessness.
  • A dislocated kneecap happens when it pops out of its groove, often damaging the soft tissues around the joint. It can often be repaired by surgery.
  • An infection of the wound can happen if surgeons do not properly use sterilised instruments.
  • During or after surgery, the patient can suffer a fracture injury.
  • Complications can arise from anaesthetic negligence.

Not every kind of complication that arises in the process of receiving medical care will be grounds for a claim. For example, as it’s an operation, a knee replacement will cause some pain and will likely leave the patient with a scar. However, this is considered necessary harm as long as the knee replacement itself is necessary.

To see if you have a valid claim, speak with an advisor today.

What Happens If A Knee Replacement Fails?

You are not automatically entitled to claim compensation if you experience complications or an injury following a knee replacement operation. You will need to prove that the knee surgery had gone wrong because a medical practitioner acted negligently, breaching their duty of care. And therefore, you suffered injuries as a result.

In some cases, the harm you experience may not be able to be attributed to medical negligence. For example, if you fail to answer the questions correctly to your anaesthetist, and this caused a problem with your anaesthetic that caused you avoidable harm, then you would be unlikely to be able to claim for this.

Knee Replacement Gone Wrong Case Study

We now review a case study of knee surgery gone wrong. Mrs T suffered from osteoarthritis in both knees. Attempts to treat Mrs T’s condition with steroids didn’t work, so she was recommended to get a total knee replacement for both knee joints in her pre-operation assessment.

During the operation, the surgeon used the wrong prosthesis in the joint. This meant that Mrs T was unable to begin the process of recovery. She was in a great deal of pain and discomfort before the error was spotted.

Furthermore, because of the problems that this would have continued to cause, she needed to undergo another operation on her knee. This meant that she had an extended period of recovery. She was unable to walk in the interim between her two operations.

After making a clinical negligence claim against her healthcare provider, Mrs T was awarded £66,560.

How Many People Have Knee Replacements?

NHS statistics explain how many people had a knee replacement operation in 2018/19:

  • 93,911 people had knee replacement procedures.
  • 56.5% of patients were female, and 43.5% were male.
  • 97.4% of patients were aged 50 or over.

How To Claim If Your Knee Surgery Has Gone Wrong

You could claim compensation for your injuries if your knee replacement failed or you suffered avoidable complications because of medical negligence in a knee surgery gone wrong. You could do the following if you want to make a medical negligence claim:

  • Keep a diary of your symptoms, which you can use to support your claim.
  • Gather supporting evidence of your injuries, such as receipts for medication purchased and photographs.
  • Make sure a doctor has diagnosed and treated your injuries. You can use your medical records as proof of medical negligence when you claim.
  • Contact Medical Negligence Assist for free legal advice about making a knee injury claim.

You may wonder how long after an operation you can claim medical negligence. There is normally a three-year time limit to claim compensation. The time limit usually begins when the medical malpractice occurred or you became aware that the negligence had harmed you.

However, some exceptions can apply to this. If you would like to know whether these apply in your circumstances, speak with an advisor today.

Payouts For Knee Surgery Gone Wrong

You can claim compensation for knee replacement injuries if you meet the correct criteria. If your claim succeeds, your payout can include two types of damages:

  • General damage is for the pain and suffering of the injuries caused and the impact they had on your quality of life.
  • Special damage is to reimburse you for the costs associated with your injuries, such as compensation for mobility equipment you may need.

You can use this table instead of a compensation calculator to estimate how much medical compensation you could receive. The compensation brackets are based on 16th edition Judicial College guidelines. Solicitors use the document to help them value claims. If you receive compensation, your payment may differ. Special damages are not included in this table.

Knee Or Leg InjuryNotes On This InjuryPayout Bracket
Leg Injury - Amputation (i)This award could cover instances in which one leg was lost above and the other leg below the knee or where both were lost above the knee.£240,790 to £282,010
Leg Injury - Amputation (iii)An above the knee amputation of one leg.£104,830 to £137,470
Leg Injury - Amputation (iv)A below the knee amputation of one leg.£97,980 to £132,990
Knee Injury - Severe (a) (i)Serious knee injuries where there are multiple problems. The joint has been disrupted and there may need to be a long period of treatment.£69,730 to £96,210
Knee Injury - Severe (a) (ii)Fractures of the leg which extend into the knee joint. The person may be left with permanent and constant pain.£52,120 to £69,730
Knee Injury - Severe (a) (iii)Less severe injuries than the previous two brackets. Lasting symptoms could include discomfort, pain and hindered mobility.£26,190 to £43,460
Knee Injury - Moderate (b) (i)Injuries including a meniscus tear, torn cartilage or dislocations. The injury causes weakness, wasting or mild disability in the future.£14,840 to £26,190
Knee Injury - Moderate (b) (ii)Similar to injuries in the bracket above, but which are not as serious. There could be twisting injuries, bruising or lacerations.Up to £13,740

Alternatively, please call Medical Negligence Assist’s helpline, and an advisor can value what your claim for knee surgery gone wrong could be worth.

How To Get Help From Medical Negligence Assist

If you wish to claim compensation for a knee replacement gone wrong, please contact Medical Negligence Assist. An advisor can assess your case and answer any questions you might have about claiming. If you meet the requirements to claim medical negligence compensation, a skilled medical negligence lawyer from our panel can work on your claim.

The lawyer can manage your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. This means that instead of paying an upfront solicitors fee, you will pay a success fee if you win your compensation claim. The success fee is deducted from your payout at a capped rate. Therefore the majority of your compensation goes straight to you. If you’re not awarded compensation, you generally don’t pay for your solicitor’s services.

Please see if you can start your medical negligence claim today:

Supporting References

We have provided additional guides about knee replacement surgery and making a clinical negligence claim.

Duties of a doctor from the General Medical Council

An NHS guide to osteoarthritis

Statutory Sick Pay guidance from the government

Missed Knee Fracture Claims Guide- How To Claim Compensation For A Misdiagnosed Knee Fracture?

Missed Heel Bone Fracture Compensation Claims

Wrong Medication Compensation Payout 

Please don’t hesitate to contact Medical Negligence Assist to enquire about claiming compensation for knee surgery gone wrong.

Guide by Hana

Edited by Fern