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Delay in Performing Decompressive Surgery

C was diagnosed as having athetoid cerebral palsy from birth. At the age of 27 she was referred following a complaint of numbness in both hands. She underwent a myelogram as well as x-rays which were said to be normal and no further investigations were undertaken.

C’s numbness continued to the extent that she subsequently fell and broke her tibia and fibula of her right leg and eventually became wheelchair bound as well as becoming fully incontinent.

A further myelogram demonstrated cord compression at C3/4 and it was necessary for C to undergo a decompressive laminectomy.

The allegation of negligence against the hospital was that there was a failure to recognise that the initial x-rays which were undertaken were not reported correctly and which was finally accepted by the hospital who admitted that steps should have been taken to undertake the decompressive surgery earlier.  Further evidence needed to be obtained on what C would have required in respect of care and assistance because of her pre-existing condition and it was eventually possible for her claim to be resolved with compensation of £225.000.00.