Arthritis compensation can be claimed where there has been excessive delay in diagnosing arthritis and providing you with treatment, or where you have not been offered appropriate treatment options, including disease-modifying drugs. Poor treatment of arthritis and delayed treatment can cause the disease to progress unchecked affecting your mobility and causing you to suffer excessive pain and reduced quality of life.
Do contact our friendly team of specialist lawyers at Medical Solicitors. We conduct most of our Clinical and Medical Negligence claims under ‘No Win, No Fee’ agreements, also known as Conditional Fee Agreements. So, you do not have to worry about how you are going to afford to bring an arthritis compensation claim. You have nothing to lose in speaking to us.
Types of Arthritis
Arthritis causes pain and inflammation of the joints and bones. It is a common condition and can occur at any age. The two main types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis tends to affect the knees, hips and joints of the hands, but any joint can be affected. It is caused by the breakdown of cartilage that covers the surface of joints allowing bones to slide over one another. This causes swelling, pain and a cracking or grinding sound when moving the joints.
Osteoarthritis is a long-term condition and cannot be cured, but there are treatments available to manage the symptoms and help make everyday activities easier and, in some cases, surgery is an option.
Rheumatoid Arthritis can affect any joint in the body, although the hands and feet are often affected. It is an autoimmune condition in which the body’s immune system makes a mistake and attacks the lining of the joints causing joint pain and swelling. There may be periods when the condition flares up and symptoms become worse.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term condition and it is important to diagnose it early because early treatment can help to prevent the condition becoming worse and can reduce the risk of developing joint damage. Early treatment can mean sufferers can lead full lives and carry on working and doing everyday activities.
Bioengineering breakthrough for osteoarthritis
Could electricity be the answer for millions of osteoarthritis sufferers?
Bioengineers in the US have developed a new mesh implant that can emit tiny electrical impulses to encourage new cartilage to grow. Based on the concept of piezoelectricity, the mesh is implanted into damaged joints such as knees. When it feels pressure through regular movement, it generates an electrical field which encourages cells to colonise and grow into new cartilage.
The mesh is 0.5mm thick and made from biodegradable polymer used in surgical sutures. It has currently only been tested on rabbits, so is still years off use in humans as will need to pass clinical trials.
However, this electrical kick could be the secret to helping millions of people living with painful osteoarthritis in their knees.
Osteoarthritis affects around 8.5 million people in the UK – or a third of all people aged 45 and over. It happens when injury or age wear away the cartilage which acts as a cushion or shock absorber between joints. Movement becomes painful as bone hits bone.
There is no way to reverse cartilage degeneration. Currently, treatment involves replacing damaged cartilage with a healthy piece which isn’t always successful. In more severe cases, joint replacement surgery is needed. Around 100,000 knee replacement surgeries take place in the UK every year, with one in five experiencing ongoing pain post-surgery.
Being able to regrow knee cartilage is a significant breakthrough and a positive step forward in reducing the number of people suffering with joint pain.
The full story can be found here.
Claiming compensation for arthritis
Arthritis compensation claims can be very large where a patient is going to be significantly affected for a long time in their future. In such cases, an appropriate large sum of money will be needed to account for that. The following is an example of a small compensation claim in which we succeeded for an elderly client who, in fact, passed away before his claim settled. He died from causes unrelated to the negligence. In these circumstances, his claim was not a large one. However, it was still a very important claim to him at the time. Our Christine Brown, Senior Solicitor, conducted this particular case.
£15,000 for a previously very fit and active elderly gentleman who was in the early stages of inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis when he was seen by a rheumatologist. For the following 4 years the rheumatologist failed to confirm the diagnosis and our client suffered significant pain. Appropriate investigations and treatment would have included scans and blood tests followed by disease-modifying drugs. By the time our client received appropriate treatment his erosions were well-established, widespread and irreversible and he was left with a higher level of handicap affecting his everyday activities than would have been the case had he been diagnosed 4 years earlier.
Some Arthritis Support Groups
One of the largest organisations for supporting people with arthritis across the UK
Helpline 0808 800 4050
National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society
A UK charity specifically for people affected by rheumatoid arthritis
Helpline 0800 298 7650
A UK charity that gives advice on combating arthritis pain through self-management and lifestyle advice
Telephone 020 3781 7120
Please Note: At Medical Solicitors, we specialise in arthritis claims involving healthcare providers in England and Wales and will be happy to extend a helping hand if your case is located in either of these areas. Unfortunately, we do not handle arthritis claims outside of England and Wales.