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If medical negligence has left you with an orthopaedic injury, we can help

An orthopaedic injury can have a big impact on your quality of life. Your bones, joints, muscles, nerves, tendons and ligaments all enable you to move around, so serious damage to them can be devastating. 

Prompt and high-quality treatment will usually lead to a good recovery. But delays or mistakes by medical professionals sometimes mean that recovery takes longer than it should, or that there is permanent damage.

Orthopaedic claims for compensation can be made when negligence affects your quality of life. A successful claim could compensate for your pain and suffering. It could also bring you much-needed money to replace lost income or pay for ongoing treatment. To find out whether you could claim, please call us on  or fill in our online form to request a call back.

When might I have a case for orthopaedic injury compensation?

You may be able to claim compensation if a mistake by a doctor or other healthcare professional caused your orthopaedic injury, or made an existing injury worse.

Orthopaedic claims may follow delays in diagnosis or treatment, as these can cause unnecessary suffering. People have also received compensation after mistakes during surgery, such as hip or knee replacements

You'd normally need to claim within three years of the negligence, although this doesn't apply in some circumstances. There is usually no time limit where the injured person lacks the physical or psychological capability to make a claim. Someone injured before their 18th birthday has until they are 21 to claim.

It's possible to claim on behalf of someone else who is physically or psychologically unable to claim themselves. You can also claim on behalf of someone under 18. 

Claiming brings you no financial risk, as it will be on a no win no fee basis where you only pay legal fees if your claim is a success. 

If you have any questions or feel you might have a claim for orthopaedic injury compensation, contact us for free on  or fill in our online form to request a call back. We'll listen to what you've been through and let you know if we think you could make a claim. If you're eligible, we'll match you with a specialist medical negligence solicitor for further advice and support.


A delay in receiving treatment for an orthopaedic injury can have a serious impact. Broken bones and damaged ligaments often require urgent attention: delays can lead to more pain and potentially lifelong consequences.

Many orthopaedic claims compensate people whose treatment is delayed because their injury wasn't diagnosed as quickly as it should have been.

Ethan Cook

Paralegal, National Accident Helpline

What are orthopaedic injuries?

Orthopaedic injuries affect the musculoskeletal system- the body's bones, joints, muscles, nerves, tendons and ligaments that enable us to move well. 

These injuries can be caused by over-use of parts of the body, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow. More often however, they happen as a result of a sudden impact:

These types of injuries are common in road traffic accidents, workplace accidents, sports injuries and ‘slip, trip and fall' accidents. If you have suffered an injury in an accident caused by someone else, you may be able to claim compensation. Call us on to find out if you can claim.

Orthopaedic injuries can be especially serious or even life changing if left untreated or not treated successfully due to medical negligence. This is another area where someone affected by negligence may have a right to compensation.

What are the most common orthopaedic injuries caused by medical negligence?

Medical staff always aim to treat their patients to a high standard, but things do go wrong. Orthopaedic injuries are sometimes caused or made worse by the negligence of doctors, surgeons or other medical professionals.

Injuries due to missed or delayed diagnosis

Doctors sometimes fail to diagnose orthopaedic injuries. They may not order X-rays or other investigations that would have identified a fracture, or there may be mistakes when interpreting X-rays or scans. 

Any delay in diagnosing an orthopaedic injury can have damaging implications. When a broken bone is not treated for example, it may not fuse together properly. Known as non-union or mal-union, this can cause pain, deformity or instability.

The bone may need to be rebroken as part of more complex surgery than should have been necessary. You may be able to make a missed fracture compensation claim if this has happened to you.

Damaged tendons also usually need prompt treatment, so early diagnosis is just as important as with fracture injuries. Missed diagnosis of back pain also happens, sometimes with serious problems such as cauda equina syndrome going undetected.

Missed or delayed diagnosis has featured in many orthopaedic negligence claims. Please get in touch on or request a call back so we can assess whether you might be able to make a claim.

Bone fracture negligence

Doctors sometimes choose to let a fracture heal naturally in plaster, when surgery to realign the bones is in fact needed. This can leave patients with long-term problems if the fracture doesn't heal as it should. 

Choosing the wrong course of action isn't the only form of bone fracture medical negligence. Orthopaedic surgery to repair a fracture sometimes involves a mistake leading to infection, deformity or disability. 

Another surgery may correct the problem, but often not before the patient has experienced pain and a lengthy recovery time.

Hip and knee replacement negligence

A hip or knee replacement should relieve you of pain and improve your mobility, but mistakes can happen. The prosthesis or implant is sometimes fitted incorrectly, or bones, cartilage or ligaments are damaged during the surgery. 

Mistakes during a replacement can also leave one leg longer than the other. Some discrepancy in leg length is normal, but if the difference is more than a few centimetres there can be pain and mobility problems. You may need further surgery to correct the discrepancy.

Did you know?

According to the National Joint Registry, UK hospitals perform about 160,000 total hip and knee replacement operations each year. About two thirds of these are carried out in NHS hospitals, and the rest in hospitals managed by the independent sector.

Ligament surgery negligence

Surgery to repair ligament damage doesn't always have a good outcome. In anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery for example, the surgeon may position the graft incorrectly. 

You may not be able to move as expected afterwards, even after rehabilitation and exercise. You may require further surgery, but sometimes this is unable to correct the situation. This can leave you with long-term mobility problems.

Spinal surgery negligence

Cases involving negligence in spinal surgery include damage to the delicate spinal cord, sometimes leading to paralysis. Spinal cord damage can also affect bladder, bowel and sexual functionality.

Other cases involve unnecessary, excessive or inadequate surgery. This is sometimes due to misdiagnosis or incorrect interpretation of X-rays or CT/MRI scans. ‘Wrong-level' surgery is a type of negligence where doctors perform surgery on the wrong discs or vertebrae. This can lead to orthopaedic claims.

Nerve damage

Nerves are sometimes cut or compressed during orthopaedic procedures such as resetting broken bones, operations on the spine and hip/knee replacements. Nerves are also sometimes damaged in hernia operations, during injections or when taking blood.

Patients often make orthopaedic claims for these injuries because they can seriously affect movement and quality of life. At its worst, nerve damage can cause extreme pain, permanent loss of mobility or even paralysis.

Problems with aftercare

When there is a breakdown in the level of care after orthopaedic surgery, the consequences can be very damaging. This is why medical staff should meet appropriate standards of care.

These include careful monitoring to spot warning signs of a post-operative infection. A lack of physiotherapy, rehabilitation or other post-operative care can also mean a worse outcome than expected. 

A failure to get informed consent

Doctors should ask for your informed consent before orthopaedic surgery. They must explain what the surgery involves, and any risks that you would see as significant. They should also tell you about any reasonable alternative treatment options, and what might happen if the surgery doesn't go ahead.

Sometimes this process isn't properly followed, and this is another type of orthopaedic medical negligence. Orthopaedic surgery can carry risks that need to be clearly explained. Some patients injured during an operation have made successful compensation claims, stating that they wouldn't have gone ahead with surgery if they had known about the risks. 

Has orthopaedic medical negligence affected you?

Was your injury made worse or caused by a level of care that was below an acceptable standard? You could make a claim for orthopaedic injury compensation to cover the impact your injury has had on your life. Call us for free today on  or fill in our secure online form and we'll call you back. 

Our legally trained advisors are here to help you understand whether you can make an orthopaedic negligence claim. If we think you are eligible, and if you'd like to proceed, we'll match you with a solicitor with medical negligence expertise and experience for further advice and support. 

How could orthopaedic injuries impact your life?

Orthopaedic injuries can have a long-term impact on how well you can move. This lack of mobility can prevent you from taking part in hobbies, leisure pursuits or day-to-day activities. It can also affect your ability to work, possibly adding financial worries to your physical pain.

For many people, the emotional and psychological effects of orthopaedic injuries can be just as bad. Being unable to do the things you enjoy can affect your mental state. Some people also feel a lack of self-worth if they can't work, despite knowing that it's not their fault.

Orthopaedic injury compensation can help address these problems, paying for physical therapy and making up for lost income while you are unable to work. 

Compensation can also enable you to pay for potentially expensive private counselling or therapy. This can have a very positive effect on someone's mental state while recovering from or learning to live with an injury.

Do you believe that medical negligence has led to long-term complications of an orthopaedic injury? Compensation may help to put things right, so please get in touch with our friendly team on  or request a call back to find out if you can claim today. You can talk to us in confidence about what happened - we're here to help and won't rush you into making a claim before you're ready to go ahead. 

Can I make an orthopaedic negligence compensation claim?

Medical negligence is a situation where the doctor or hospital does not act to a standard that you as a patient could reasonably expect from them. If medical negligence has led to your orthopaedic injury, or made an existing injury worse, you may be able to claim compensation.

Please call us free on  or request a call back and we'll let you know whether you could make a claim for orthopaedic negligence compensation. If we think you are eligible, we'll connect you with a specialist medical negligence solicitor for further advice and claims support.

How much compensation could I receive?

Letting a solicitor investigate what happened is the best way to get an idea of the level of orthopaedic injury compensation you may be able to claim. 

Your orthopaedic claim might include a payment in one or both of these categories: 

  • Special damages are the financial losses you've experienced as a direct result of your injury and are in addition to general damages. 
  • General damages cover pain, suffering and ‘loss of amenity', which means the impact on your ability to do things you used to do, such as everyday tasks and hobbies. 

The Judicial College is the government department in the Ministry of Justice responsible for setting the guideline general damages amounts for all personal injury types. 

Included are many guide amounts for orthopaedic claims, including the following as examples:

Type of orthopaedic injuryCompensation range
Severe neck injuries involving damage to discs in the cervical spine causing substantial loss of movement in the neck or loss of function in one or more limbs£61,710 to £122,860
‘Less serious' leg fractures leaving the injured person with a limp or impaired mobility£16,860 to £26,050
Minor soft tissue shoulder injuries with a full recovery within about two years£4,080 to £7,410  

To find out whether you can claim compensation for your injury, contact us for free on  or fill in our secure online form to arrange a call back at a time that suits you. We'll never rush or pressure you into making a claim. We're here to help you understand whether you could make an orthopaedic claim and to answer any questions.

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How long do I have to start an orthopaedic negligence compensation claim?

To qualify for making a claim for orthopaedic injury compensation, you must normally have suffered the effects of someone else's negligence within the last three years:

  • If you were 18 or over when the event occurred, you have three years to make a claim from the event or when you became aware of it. 
  • If you were under 18 at the time and haven't made a claim, you have three years from your 18th birthday until your 21st birthday to claim.

There are exceptions to the three-year limitation. For instance, if you experienced such severe side-effects that you can't make the claim yourself, no time limit applies. This also applies if someone lacks the psychological capability to claim for themself.

If you've got any questions about making a no win no fee orthopaedic claim, contact us for free and impartial advice on . We'll listen to what you've been through and let you know if we think you could make a no win no fee claim

Alternatively, try our eligibility checker that asks some simple questions about what happened and we'll let you know whether we think you may have grounds to make an orthopaedic negligence claim.

How long will my claim take?

Every claim we handle is unique  and that's why we can't say for certain how long your compensation claim might take. In simpler cases where fault is clear and undeniable, the claim may settle sooner than more complex cases.

Your solicitor will stay in touch with you throughout the orthopaedic claims process so that you'll always know how things are progressing.

Frequently asked questions...

Let's look at the health service. NHS Resolution is the body that oversees medical negligence claims against the NHS. Their figures show that there were 15,655 claims settled in 2018/19 and that damages were awarded on 8,712 occasions - that's in almost 56% of cases.

Medicine is complex and so are claims made for negligence: if you think you've been affected, then come and talk to us. You'll be able to chat through your circumstances with one of our expert legal support advisors - and we'll give you the options you need to make an informed decision about what to do next.

Legal aid was a method of covering the cost of going to court and getting a fair hearing. In 2000, legal aid was made unavailable for personal injury cases, and instead no win no fee or conditional fee agreements were introduced.

All of our solicitors can help you to make your claim on a no win no fee basis, which means that if your case isn't successful you won't pay a penny.

If your case is successful, you'll pay a fee to your solicitor as a percentage of the amount you receive, and this percentage will have been agreed before starting your claim.

Find out more about legal aid and no win no fee here.

It depends on whether you were affected by treatment through the NHS or while in private hands. If your claim is against the NHS, then any award is settled by NHS Resolution. It's the specialist insurer that oversees all cases brought against the NHS. 

Every healthcare Trust in the UK pays NHS Resolution an annual premium. This pays for the damages awarded in successful clinical negligence cases. It's different with claims made in the private medical sector where you claim against the individual rather than the establishment. 

All medical professionals working privately must carry their own liability insurance. Successful claims will then be settled by the medical professional's insurance company.

Could I receive an early payment?

If a complex claim does take longer, it may be possible to make your orthopaedic medical negligence payments in stages. Sometimes known as interim payments, these are in advance of a final agreement on a compensation settlement.

These payments could help you with ongoing costs such as rehabilitation or physiotherapy fees. They can also be a big help if you have lost income due to your injury affecting your ability to work.

Will I need to go to court?

It's unlikely that you will need to go to court, as most claims made with us settle without a court hearing. Even if a court date is set, your claim might still settle before the date comes up.

If your case does go to court, you have the reassurance that the solicitors looking after your claim will guide you through each step of the way. They will take you through the preparation process and negotiate on your behalf throughout the court hearing itself. 

Although it might seem worrying, a court hearing can be very positive. Your solicitor will only suggest it if they think it's the best way to make sure you get the compensation you need.

Can I make a no win no fee claim?

Yes, you can make a claim for orthopaedic injury compensation on a no win no fee basis. This gives you peace of mind that if you don't win your case you have nothing to pay. Your solicitor will cover all your upfront and ongoing costs, including medical report fees, court fees and any barrister fees.

If you don't win your case you have peace of mind that you have nothing to pay. This is because in most cases we can help you put in place an insurance policy known as ‘After the Event insurance' (ATE). This insurance coverage ensures if your claim isn't a success you won't have to pay any legal costs. Even the ATE policy fees are covered. 

If your claim is a success, depending on the type of claim and the value, the other side will usually contribute towards your legal costs and expenses. If there's a shortfall this will usually be deducted from your compensation. This deduction might cover the ATE policy fee, fixed fees not covered by the other side, and where applicable a ‘success fee' for winning your claim. 

Your lawyer will explain and discuss how much you'll pay at the start of your claim. There will be no hidden surprises and any deduction made from your compensation will be capped at a level discussed upfront with you.

Why choose National Accident Helpline?

Experienced - Serving the nation for over years_since years.
Accredited - Personal injury experts you can trust.
Trusted - Rated 'Excellent' on Trustpilot with more reviews than any other Helpline.
National - Every day, we help 100's of people across the UK who've been injured in accidents.

How do I start my orthopaedic negligence compensation claim?

You could be entitled to orthopaedic injury compensation if your injury was caused or made worse by medical negligence. Call our team of legally-trained advisors on  or request a call back. We're open seven days a week, including until 9.00pm Monday-Friday. 

If we assess that you may have a case for a claim, and if you decide to take things further, we'll put you in touch with a specialist medical negligence solicitor.