Latest News & Views

Posted on 6th April 2018

Failing To Spot Hand Fracture Led To Painful Arthritis

After a man was thrown from his bicycle after being hit by a car, he went to A+E as his hand and wrist had swollen to twice their normal size and were incredibly painful. At A+E, the man received an X-ray. His A&E consultant then told him that he had not sustained a break or fracture. The consultant’s advice was to rest and that the pain and swelling would subside in time.

The man had, in fact, suffered a fracture, and with orthopaedic negligence, failure to spot the fracture had meant the bone had started to die, and arthritis began to set in. Several months after being sent away from A+E, the patient was still in great pain and visits to his GP were waved away. He asked for another X-ray, and it was then confirmed that he had fractured his scaphoid, a bone at the base of the thumb.

This patient is not alone with this type of orthopaedic negligence as doctors predict one in thirty scaphoid breaks are misdiagnosed. If it is missed, it can cause the bone to die, also known as, avascular necrosis. This can lead to early onset arthritis.

For this particular patient, arthritis set in, and he was offered surgery with a 60% success rate to reconnect the blood supply to the bone. His operation was cancelled twice, meaning his surgery was eventually performed a whole two years after his accident. He now suffers from a chronically painful stiff wrist that could have been avoided if the fracture was diagnosed earlier.

What Negligence Claimline say

Orthopaedic negligence is not uncommon in the UK. In fact, 14% of medical negligence claims are as a result of orthopaedic procedures. While undiagnosed fractures are common, other negligence claims for orthopaedic problems include wrong-site surgery, nerve damage and unnecessary surgery.

If you have been affected by orthopaedic negligence, then our friendly team of expert solicitors can help you to receive the compensation you deserve. Sometimes an apology is enough, but other times you may need financial assistance to help you to get your life back on track. Tell us your story and receive your free 24-hour claim assessment.