In this case, Pryers was able to help our client seek justice after a negligently performed forefoot surgery resulted in permanent abnormality and impaired function of her left foot.
Imogen, from Birmingham, suffered from ongoing bunions and bilateral foot pain. She was subsequently advised by her doctor that she would be required to undergo a left Weil osteotomy – an operation that aims to reduce pain in the front part of foot and to help straighten toes. Doctors noted that a metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) in Imogen’s foot was dislocated and that a proximal interphalangeal joint (PIPJ) was fused to her second left toe. The surgery aimed to correct these issues and reduce Imogen’s ongoing pain.
Unfortunately, the orthopaedic surgeon failed to fully and adequately assess Imogen’s forefeet and bunions and identify the increased risk of recurrent MTPJ subluxation (when the ligaments surrounding the joint become inflamed and tear) if the bunions were left untreated. The surgeon also failed to advise Imogen of the risk of recurrent deformity following isolated surgery to the second toe and discuss the option of combining the proposed forefoot surgery with bunion surgery.
Following the surgery, the surgeon identified that he had not treated Imogen’s bunions and performed bilateral scarf osteotomies several months later. Bunions can be extremely painful and are only treatable by surgery. Sadly, three weeks after her bunion surgery, Imogen’s left foot spontaneously fractured whilst still in a plaster cast. This resulted in Imogen having to undergo a further seven surgeries over a four-year period, seriously affecting her everyday life. Imogen was unable and is still unable to work as a result of her pain and injury, and had to move to a smaller, single storey property to accommodate her needs.
Although Imogen’s pain is somewhat improved, her left foot is now over two sizes smaller than her right, fused at the ankle and she still continually suffers from residual pain and swelling. She still requires additional support from her family and loved ones.
Pryers’ experts found that had the combined surgery been performed as part of the initial treatment, this would have been successful and Imogen would have achieved a full recovery after just 6 months.