Scaphoid Fracture

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Scaphoid Fracture Claims

If your scaphoid fracture has been misdiagnosed you may be able to make a compensation claim…

What is a Scaphoid Fracture?

The scaphoid bone is a small, but vital, bone in the wrist. It is crucial for wrist function and movement. If injured, it can lead to significant and permanent damage, especially if the fracture is not diagnosed or treated in a timely manner. An x-ray and thorough clinical examination of the wrist are essential in diagnosing a scaphoid fracture. Typical initial treatment involves putting the wrist in plaster for several weeks.

Scaphoid fractures can be difficult to diagnose initially, even with an x-ray. If such a fracture is suspected then a follow-up appointment should be carried out in the next 2-3 weeks. In the interim, the wrist should be put in plaster or a splint.

The longer a scaphoid fracture is left without appropriate treatment the more likely the damage will be permanent. Recovery may also be prolonged, meaning that patients could suffer more pain that necessary.

Should the scaphoid bone not heal, then surgical treatment may be necessary.

Why choose us?

Why choose Oliver & Co Medical Negligence team? – Read our guide.

You can direct dial our Clinical Negligence Department on 01244 354688 or fill in our contact us form.

How is a scaphoid fracture diagnosed and treated?

Symptoms of a scaphoid fracture include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Wrist stiffness

Some patients may think that they have merely sprained their wrist. X-rays are usually helpful in diagnosing the fracture. However, it is possible for a scaphoid fracture to be missed on the first x-ray. Therefore, if a scaphoid fracture is suspected, a follow-up x-ray should be carried out 10-14 days later. The wrist should be immobilised with a splint on plaster in the meantime. Furthermore, a bone scan, CT scan or MRI scan can also be helpful in diagnosing the fracture.

Typical treatment of a scaphoid fracture is to place the wrist in plaster for approximately 6 weeks. However, if this is unsuccessful or if the injury is not treated quickly enough, then further treatment is likely to be required. This could include an operation to insert screws or a bone graft.

Can you make a compensation claim?

If you think you have suffered due to a misdiagnosed scaphoid fracture, you may be eligible to claim compensation. Please contact us for advice if you feel you may have a scaphoid fracture compensation claim, or have suffered any form of clinical negligence.

It is important to contact us as soon as possible. This is because there are strict time limits in place for making a claim for compensation. Once contacted, our solicitors will be able to advise you specifically on the facts of your own case. We even have an in-house dual-qualified doctor/solicitor who can confirm whether or not you have suffered from clinical negligence.

Case studies:

We help lots of clients every year just like you claim the compensation they deserve. Below are two case studies. These demonstrate how we have helped clients claim compensation for missed or delayed diagnosis’ of scaphoid fractures in the past. Please be aware that the compensation amounts depend on the client’s individual situation and experiences. To see how much your claim could be worth please contact us directly.

Case Study 1: £75,000 in Compensation

Failed diagnosis:
  • Our client attended A&E after injuring his right wrist playing football. His wrist was x-rayed and he was told that there wasn’t a bone injury so he must have ligament damage. Our client was given a splint and told to wear it during the day (not the night) for about 10 days and to take pain relief.
  • Our client continued to suffer from pain and stiffness in his wrist and so some 9 months later he went to his GP, who arranged for him to have an x-ray. The x-ray showed an old, unhealed scaphoid fracture. Subsequently, the hospital undertook further imaging. They believed that this demonstrated that the fracture was now healing. As a result, our client was once again discharged from follow-up.
  • Over the following months, our client continued to suffer from pain and stiffness and was not able to carry out his job as normal.
How we helped:
  • Our client approached us to help him bring a claim against the hospital for the failure to diagnose his wrist fracture in the first place.
  • As our client told us how much he was still struggling with his wrist (despite having been told the wrist had now healed), we arranged for him to have a private CT scan of his wrist. This was almost two years after his original injury. The scan showed that the scaphoid fracture had not healed. Not only that, but the damage was so severe that he needed an operation that included a bone graft and having a metal screw put in place to try and let the bone finally heal.
  • Although the operation was successful and much improved our client’s situation, he still suffered from some aching, pain, and stiffness in his wrist.
  • Furthermore, the movement in his wrist was restricted and he was unable to work at full capacity, undertake DIY tasks, or enjoy his hobbies.
  • On our client’s claim against the hospital, the main allegations were that the defendant failed to diagnose and treat the scaphoid fracture when our client initially attended the Hospital. Also, that the defendant then failed to recognise that the fracture had not healed when he attended some months later.
Compensation achieved:
  • The defendant admitted some fault but would not accept that all of our client’s symptoms were as a result of their negligence.
  • However, our client’s claim settled in his favour and he received £75,000 in compensation.

Case Study 2: £28,000 in Compensation

Failed diagnosis:
  • In 2008, our client sustained an injury to his right wrist whilst playing football. He attended his local walk-in centre the same day and was initially assessed by a nurse.
  • The nurse then referred him to the hospital for an x-ray. Our client returned to the walk-in centre with the x-ray he had taken at the hospital in order for it to be reviewed.
  • Our client was examined again and the x-ray was reviewed. The diagnosis of a wrist sprain was made and our client was given a future splint to wear during the day and advised to take painkillers. He was discharged without any follow-up.
  • Our client continued to suffer from symptoms of pain, stiffness and tenderness in his wrist.
  • In 2009, he re-attended the walk in centre and was seen by a nurse who again diagnosed a sprain. Our client was given another wrist splint before being discharged without any follow-up.
  • Our client’s pain continued and he saw his GP. The GP referred him to hospital for further x-rays of his wrist in 2010. The x-rays revealed that he was suffering from an old, ununited fracture of his right scaphoid bone.
  • Our client underwent screw fixation and a bone graft of the right scaphoid. Further x-rays were taken thereafter which showed that the fracture had unfortunately not united. Our client was given follow up x-rays four years after the injury and was informed that the fracture was still healing.
  • The injury and diagnosis affected our client’s life considerably as he was unable to pursue his chosen career in the army. Our client continued to suffer from pain in the wrist as well as reduced mobility and power.
How we helped:
  • We were instructed to act on behalf of the client to pursue a clinical negligence claim. Following extensive initial investigations, which included a thorough review of our client’s medical records by our in-house doctor, we brought action against the walk-in centre on his behalf.
  • We alleged that there was a failure to diagnose the scaphoid fracture which was visible on the initial x-ray and thereafter immobilise our client’s right wrist. Furthermore, there was a failure to arrange further investigations and appropriate follow-up appointments. Our client would have avoided the prolonged pain, suffering and loss of amenity as well as avoiding the need for the screw surgery.
  • Liability was not admitted in full by the defendant’s solicitors and in particular, they disputed what difference earlier treatment would have made to our client’s outcome.
  • However, they did make admissions in relation to the fracture being visible in the first x-ray and put forward a derisory offer in an attempt to settle.
  • We remained strong in our views that with earlier treatment our client would have avoided prolonged pain and suffering as well as the surgery to fit the screw into the scaphoid. As a result, we proceeded to issue court proceedings against the defendant NHS Trust who provided the treatment at the walk-in centre.
  • We obtained expert evidence from several specialists including a GP, Consultant Radiologist, and Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. The evidence obtained supported our client’s claim that the defendant breached their duty of care by failing to diagnose, treat and follow him up appropriately.
Compensation achieved:
  • In an attempt to reach a settlement agreement prior to attending a hearing at court, considerable negotiations were entered.
  • Subsequently, we were delighted to agree on a figure of £28,000 in full and final settlement of our client’s claim.
  • This settlement figure included a claim for general damages, past loss of earnings, and care and assistance.

Can we help you?

Our team is headed by a dual-qualified doctor and solicitor, so we benefit from in-house medical knowledge. Our team of specialised clinical negligence solicitors would be happy to help. We can quickly and efficiently assessing any areas of potential negligence for a wide range of claims.

Want to have a free and confidential chat in relation to a potential scaphoid fracture claim? Give our team of specialist clinical negligence solicitors a call on 01244 354688.

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

Linda Schermer

Associate Director & Solicitor

Kerry Goulden

Associate Director & Medical Negligence Solicitor

Liz Fry

Medical Negligence Solicitor

Jyoati Chada

Medical Negligence Solicitor

Emma Woodrow

Clinical Negligence Fee Earner

Chloe Rheade

Litigation Executive

Martyn Elliott

Solicitor

Samantha Smith

Solicitor