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Published on Apr 29, 2018
The Health Complaints Commissioner (HCC) resolves complaints about healthcare and the handling of health records in Victoria, Australia. See hcc.vic.gov.au for details.
This case study is a real complaint we handled, with names and some details changed for privacy reasons.
Antonio complained about persistent pain in his knee following a total knee replacement.
He told the surgeon of the pain one month after the operation but was assured there was no cause for concern and to continue physiotherapy to strengthen the knee.
Nine months later Antonio’s knee still hurt but was again told not to worry.
Antonio eventually got a second opinion and a full leg x-ray, which showed an abnormal distortion in his new knee requiring another total knee replacement to straighten the leg.
WHAT WE DID
We presented the complaint to the original surgeon, who denied any wrongdoing.
However, an independent opinion that we got concluded there had been a technical error in the original procedure, causing the distortion and pain, which now required corrective surgery.
The report was given to Antonio and the original surgeon.
We then facilitated a negotiation that led to a significant amount of compensation to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses and loss of earnings for Antonio, who was satisfied that his complaint had been resolved.