ACL and meniscus injury delay in diagnosis and treatment

08 November 2023

ACL and meniscus injury delay in diagnosis and treatment

Medical negligence specialist, Becca Horley, recently settled a claim for the delay in diagnosis and treatment of an ACL and meniscus injury.


Our client attended A&E in June 2020 after twisting his right knee during a football match. He was experiencing pain, swelling and an inability to put weight on his knee without it feeling out of place. A consultant in emergency medicine queried a potential ligament injury or meniscal injury. A plan was then made for an X-ray and review by the acute fracture team. Our client was later assessed by an orthopaedic doctor who noted his symptoms and made a referral to a virtual fracture clinic. 

Following attendance at the virtual fracture clinic, our client was advised that he may have an ACL injury and was then referred to a specialist knee surgeon for further review. He explained to the specialist knee surgeon that his knee felt weak, painful, and would often buckle, and explained that he could not fully weight bear when asked why he was limping. The specialist knee surgeon advised that our client had suffered a knee sprain and discharged him without follow up. 

Our client continued to suffer with these symptoms, causing him extreme pain and leading to him to rely on crutches and an adjustable knee brace to assist with walking at times. In August 2020, having intermittently returned to A&E and been denied a referral for an MRI scan by his GP, our client returned to A&E for a third time and was diagnosed with an ACL rupture.

In September 2020, he finally underwent an MRI scan, and it was reported that he had both a meniscal and ACL tear. In December 2020 our client underwent an arthroscopy on his right knee under general anaesthetic and was under the impression he was also going to undergo the ACL reconstruction surgery; however, he did not receive the reconstructive surgery until October 2021, along with a re-arthroscopy. 

The Claim

Our client sought legal advice from Shoosmiths serious injury team and instructed us to pursue a claim against the hospital for a delay in diagnosis of the ACL injury and associated meniscal tears, and the consequent delay in treatment. Because of these delays our client endured months of avoidable pain and suffering, needed care and assistance with day-to-day tasks from friends and family and was unable to take part in the sporting activities he enjoyed before his injury. 

Shoosmiths instructed a specialist orthopaedic expert, who confirmed that there were failures to: heed the client’s history of symptoms consistent with an acute knee injury, refer the him for an MRI scan, refer him for physiotherapy and discharge him without any follow up. In addition, our expert also confirmed that our client’s arthroscopy in December 2020 was unnecessary and further delayed the management of our his ACL injury. As a result of these failures, our expert confirmed that our client should have undergone surgery to treat his ACL and meniscal injuries months before it finally took place. 


The NHS Trust made admissions in relation to liability and Shoosmiths successfully settled the claim out-of-court by securing compensation for our client. 
Becca Horley said about the case: “Key indicators of our client’s ACL and meniscus injury were missed on a number of occasions here. This meant our client enduring a longer period of pain and suffering than he should have. I am pleased that we were able to successfully settle this matter for our client.”

Becca’s client said: ‘Becca has been outstanding with both aiding in any of my concerns and also with informing me regularly on updates throughout the dispute. Becca also took care and consideration when informing me on how to progress the claim and was engaging when we would have conversations on potential outcomes of the claim based on how I would instruct her. I would wholeheartedly recommend Shoosmiths services because of this.’ 



This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024

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