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Decision Report 201807026

  • Case ref:
  • Date:
    July 2020
  • Body:
    Highland NHS Board
  • Sector:
  • Outcome:
    Not upheld, no recommendations
  • Subject:
    clinical treatment / diagnosis


C underwent a left total hip replacement for progressive osteoarthritis (chronic breakdown of cartilage in the joints leading to pain, stiffness and swelling). Following the surgery, it was identified C suffered nerve damage which resulted in a foot drop/sciatic nerve palsy (loss of movement and or lack of sensation) and a limp. C complained that the board failed to provide the appropriate aftercare to address these issues.

The board confirmed they provided the appropriate aftercare in the form of an ankle foot orthosis (a brace) and physiotherapy. The board noted C's initial problems had resolved and there were other factors that contributed to C's ongoing issues.

We took independent advice from a consultant orthopaedic surgeon (a specialist in the treatment of diseases and injuries of the musculoskeletal system). We found that C's foot drop was managed appropriately by the provision of the orthosis and several physiotherapy sessions. We also concluded that the board's opinion that there were other factors which were the cause of C's ongoing problems was reasonable. We did not uphold the complaint.

Updated: July 22, 2020