Bones & Missed Fracture Claims

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Bones, Missed Fracture Claims, Infections and Surgery

Fractures (broken bones) can be difficult to diagnose or can be missed, which may lead to a delay in you receiving the necessary treatment. This, in turn, can lead to the need for more invasive treatment than would otherwise have been necessary. For example, you may need surgery when this could have been avoided with earlier treatment.

You may even be left with permanent damage, which could have been avoided had the fracture been diagnosed and treated correctly from the outset. It is also likely that it will take you longer to recover, causing more pain than necessary.

Scaphoid fractures

The scaphoid bone is a small bone in our wrist which helps us to flex and move our hand. It can be injured when there is a fall on an outstretched hand or by a direct impact on the wrist for example if a football hits the wrist. A fracture of the scaphoid bone can be missed even when an x-ray is done shortly after the injury.

If there is a pain just below the base of the thumb after a fall or injury, then a scaphoid fracture must be suspected and an x-ray or scan should be done. Even if an x-ray does not show a fracture, treatment should still be given as it may take a few weeks before a fracture becomes visible on an x-ray.

Treatment by way of a cast or splint which also includes the thumb, so that the thumb cannot move should be given. A further appointment should then be arranged with more investigations by way of x-rays or scans if the pain has not settled.

With plaster treatment, most scaphoid fractures heal, but if a scaphoid fracture goes undiagnosed for some time, particularly if the individual has been using their hand as normal (without a cast or splint), then the scaphoid bone may become damaged and crumble. Surgery is commonly required for scaphoid fractures if they are not treated correctly at the outset.

A crumbling scaphoid bone affects most wrist movements, which has an impact on all aspects of your daily life, at home and at work. If this is the result of negligent care, then you are entitled to seek compensation for your injury and losses.

For free advice from our Medical Negligence solicitors, please call us direct on 01244 354688

Our team is led by Linda Schermer-Jones, who is a dual qualified Doctor/Solicitor. She has a particular interest in scaphoid fracture claims and has won hundreds of thousands of pounds for clients who received negligent treatment following a scaphoid fracture.

With the benefit of medical knowledge and experience in dealing with missed scaphoid fracture claims, we can help you with all aspects of your compensation claim.

Osteomyelitis (infection of the bone)

Osteomyelitis is a bone infection which is caused by bacteria travelling to the bone through an injury, a fracture, following surgery or occasionally through the blood stream.

Symptoms of Osteomyelitis include feeling feverish, bone pain and irritation/swelling/redness around the area. If osteomyelitis is mistaken for a more superficial skin infection, then the necessary treatment with high doses of strong antibiotics is not given.

The quicker the infection is diagnosed, the better it can be treated. If antibiotics do not resolve the infection, it may be necessary to operate on the area to remove the damaged bone, drain pus or place antibiotic beads into the bone.

If there is a delay in diagnosing and treating the infection, this may result in a worse outcome and the need for the bone to be removed.

If you have suffered from a bone infection and you are not happy with the treatment you received, please contact us for a free and confidential chat with our specialist Solicitors.

Orthopaedic surgery

As well as Missed Fracture Claims, other orthopaedic injury claims may arise when orthopaedic surgery is not performed correctly. For example, hip or knee replacement operations where the implant has been fitted incorrectly, leading to the patient requiring yet more surgery to resolve the problem. Orthopaedic surgery can take place on any bone or ligament in the body and so a wide range of claims can arise.

You may have required further surgery or you may even be left with permanent damage, which could have been avoided had the orthopaedic error not occurred and had your injury been treated correctly from the outset. It is also likely that it will take you longer to recover, meaning that you suffered from more pain than necessary.

If you wish to have a free and confidential chat about this, please call our team of specialist clinical negligence solicitors on 01244 354688.

Missed Fracture Case Studies

Our client injured his hand whilst abroad and on his return from holiday, attended A & E. He was x-rayed and told that he had only suffered a sprain.

  • Our client was recalled back to the Accident & Emergency Department of the hospital two weeks later when he was informed that the original x-ray had been reviewed and did, in fact, show that our client had broken his wrist. Our client was treated by way of a plaster cast and a follow-up appointment was arranged. At this follow-up appointment, our client was informed that not only had he broken his wrist, the ligaments had also been damaged and this had caused the bones to be displaced. Unfortunately, surgery and treatment were unsuccessful and our Client underwent a wrist fusion operation the following year. Despite the defendant maintaining a denial of liability, our client has recovered the sum of £35,000 by way of compensation.

Our client fell at home and landed on her right shoulder. An ambulance was called for and two ambulance staff arrived. They examined our client and concluded that she had simply badly bruised her arm and did not need to go to a hospital. She was not taken to a hospital or told to visit her GP.

  • Two months later, she was found to have suffered a dislocation and a fracture to her right arm during her fall but was told that it was too late for surgery. Our client suffered pain in her right arm when she was trying to use it prior to the diagnosis as she was not aware that she had dislocated and fractured it. Our client had to move into sheltered accommodation as she was unable to care for herself. She was successful in her claim and received £3,000 compensation.

Our client was walking in her house when she heard a loud crack in her left leg, immediately felt pain and was not able to put any weight on her leg. The pain was so excruciating that she required paramedics to carry her down the stairs and she was taken to A&E.

  • Once at the hospital, our client was examined but she was not given an x-ray as the doctor believed that she only had ligament damage. Our client was therefore discharged home. After a few weeks, the pain in our client’s leg continued and so our client contacted her consultant orthopaedic surgeon (who was providing care for her other leg). He arranged for an x-ray to take place which showed that the ankle had been fractured in 3 places. Our client required an operation to have a plate inserted to support the bones in her ankle. Our client received £1,750 compensation for the pain and suffering she experienced as a result of the delay in diagnosing her injuries.

For free advice from our Medical Negligence solicitors, please call us direct on 01244 354688

Linda Schermer-Jones

Head of the Clinical Negligence Department, Associate Director & Medical Negligence Solicitor

Kerry Goulden

Associate Director & Medical Negligence Solicitor

Liz Fry

Associate Director & Medical Negligence Solicitor

Emma Woodrow

Clinical Negligence Legal Adviser