Mrs Williamson developed pain in her lower back and when referred to a spinal surgeon he diagnosed her with a Tarlov Cyst on her back, which he advised was benign. She started having bowel and bladder problems, and increasing pain in her spine. A year later she obtained a second opinion from a different Trust, who agreed that it was a Tarlov Cyst without reviewing the initial imaging and without obtaining new imaging.
She underwent various investigations for her bladder and bowel problems, and ended up with a colostomy. Her back pain continued and she was eventually referred to the Royal National Orthopaedic where she was diagnosed with Chordoma. This was 4 years after her initial diagnosis. By this stage it had infiltrated her spine, and she required extensive surgery on her spine and radiotherapy. Had the Chordoma been diagnosed earlier, the surgery would not have been as extensive and she would have avoided radiotherapy, plus the unnecessary investigations and colostomy, for her bladder and bowel problems. As a result of the radiotherapy, she developed fractures in her ribs, and the spine has deteriorated to the extent that she is now bent over and cannot straighten up.
We obtained evidence from a spinal surgeon, and then instructed an expert with the suitable expertise to address Chordoma and treatment. We also a radiologist specialising in musculo skeletal imaging, who confirmed, without knowledge of the eventual diagnosis, that the initial imaging in 2010/2011 indicated it was a Chordoma rather than a Tarlov Cyst.
The case was initially denied in full by the Defendant, and when the Defence became due, the Defendant indicated that they were looking to settle. The offer was £100,000 which the client was happy to accept.