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Diagnosis Failure Or Delay
Missed Foot Fracture

Missed Foot Fracture

After falling at the cinema, Dawn was told that she had fractured her foot. However, after two months her symptoms had not alleviated and another x-ray was performed. This showed a very complex fracture which was not previously diagnosed.

Slipping on steps as she was leaving the cinema, Dawn fell and landed awkwardly on her left foot. Such was the pain that she suspected she might have broken a bone.

She was taken to the nearest hospital by ambulance where an x-ray was carried out. This revealed that Dawn had broken the fourth metatarsal in her foot, while there was also tenderness to the third and fifth metatarsal. A plaster cast was applied and she was discharged.

The plaster cast was taken off six weeks later, but Dawn's foot was still extremely swollen and painful. The consultant suggested that she might have compounded regional pain syndrome and recommended physiotherapy.

Dawn proceeded to have six weekly sessions of physio and acupuncture, but still there was no improvement. Her foot was so swollen and so painful she could not even walk on it. Eventually Dawn rang the hospital herself and made an appointment with the fracture clinic.

During the appointment she had a CT scan which showed a lisfranc tarsometatarsal fracture subluxation of the second and third metatarsal and several bone fragments. Dawn asked why this had not been detected before and was told it was a complex injury and difficult to detect.

She was subsequently referred to a foot specialist who said Dawn now had arthritis in her left foot as a result of her injury. Furthermore, she would need an operation to reconstruct the joint. This was eventually carried out some seven months after her fall.

Dawn required four metal rods in her foot, more physiotherapy to strengthen the muscles and permanent arch supports in her shoes. She was also advised by the specialist that she may require more surgery if the arthritis develops further.

Dawn's mobility has been severely restricted since the accident occurred and she was obliged to take 15 weeks off work

She continues to have trouble with her balance and cannot bend to pick things. Dawn has been left with a permanent deformity in her foot and can no longer wear 'normal' shoes.

These problems could have been avoided had treatment been provided soon after the accident. But, due to the delay, the bones had already started to knit together, necessitating a more extensive operation and producing long-term complications.

We helped Dawn make a claim against the hospital responsible for her missed fracture and she was awarded over £8,000 compensation for the damages she wrongfully incurred.

(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)

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"Before we contacted you we had no real idea that we had grounds for a medical negligence claim but after speaking to you if became clear that Wendy was indeed treated poorly. Chris took the time to explain what was happening and kept us to speed. Our deepest gratitude to you all and Chris in particular."

"I would like to say a big thank you to you for making this whole process easy and relatively painless. You kept me informed throughout and you were always polite and courteous in all forms of communication. I would not hesitate to recommend you to friends and family, so a really big thank you and I wish you all the best in the future."

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