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Bones & Missed Fracture Claims

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.

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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.

(infection of the bone)

Osteomyelitis is a bone infection which is caused by bacteria travelling to the bone through an injury or 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.


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