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I Have a Scaphoid Fracture Which Went Unnoticed – Can I Claim?

A scaphoid fracture is a painful injury to experience, but if it doesn’t get fixed quickly you could be in even more pain in the future.

Although scaphoid fractures are common, they often get overlooked by doctors.

If you fracture your scaphoid and it goes unnoticed, complications in the joints of your hands may develop at a later date causing you pain and discomfort.

scaphoid fracture

What Is A Scaphoid Fracture?

A scaphoid fracture is the fracturing of the small bone on the thumb side of your wrists.

It most often occurs from falling hands-first onto a hard surface, and is the most common type of wrist fracture.

Often this type of fracture is overlooked because it feels like a sprained wrist rather than a broken bone.

There is usually only a little bit of swelling, but depending on how you fall the amount of pain you feel varies.

The two most common symptoms of a scaphoid fracture are tenderness directly over the bone and pain when moving your thumb or gripping things.

The Complications

Scaphoid fractures are frequently not spotted at A&E  departments across the UK, and need to be dealt whilst there remains good blood supply to the site.

If mistaken for a sprain, a scaphoid fracture can lead to long-term complications, such as:

  • Bone failing to heal, which is called a ‘simple nonunion’
  • The development of avascular necrosis, where the lower half of the fractured bone loses its blood supply and dies
  • Degenerative arthritis, when joint cartilage and underlying bone begin to deteriorate
  • Surgery to attempt to fix the above

Of course, none of these situations are ideal.

If the reason you develop these conditions or end up needing surgery is because of the negligence of a medical professional you will be eligible to claim.

Claiming Medical Negligence for an Unnoticed Scaphoid Fracture

Unnoticed scaphoid fractures can cause problems in your day-to-day life.

We saw an example of this in a recent case, where our client injured his wrist and visited A&E, where he was given a protective cast.

He went back a few weeks later and was told that there was no break, so the cast was taken off and replaced with a sling.

However, he believed that his wrist wasn’t recovering so used his private insurance to see another doctor for a second opinion.

Upon X-raying our client, this doctor confirmed that there was in fact a scaphoid fracture which was missed in the trip to A&E.


The original misdiagnosis meant that our client was taken out of the cast too early and therefore took longer to recover.

The private practice doctor decided to put our client into another cast. Had he not done so then the client would have needed another operation.

This client’s injury occurred three years ago, and he is still suffering from pain and discomfort when lifting, which affects him in his job as an IT consultant.

We are happy to say that justice was served to our client, who was awarded £4,000 in compensation for his suffering as a result of this misdiagnosis.

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