What You Can Do if You’ve Suffered Due to an Undiagnosed Scaphoid Fracture
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 suffer from a scaphoid fracture and it goes undiagnosed, complications in the joints of your hands may develop at a later date causing you pain and discomfort.
We can help you claim compensation if your scaphoid fracture wasn’t diagnosed correctly. Get in touch.
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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.
What happens if a scaphoid fracture is left untreated?
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, an undiagnosed scaphoid fracture can lead to long-term complications, such as:
- Your 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 could be eligible to claim.
Why are Scaphoid Fractures often Misdiagnosed?
Scaphoid fractures are often missed when medical staff fails to take the appropriate X-rays of the injured area.
At A&E they should always attempt to take an X-ray when you first arrive to assess what damage has been done to the wrist area before you are being discharged. However, this is not always possible, as the injured area can be too swollen to get a clear picture of the injuries. If this is the case, A&E staff should request you to come back after a short period to get the X-rays taken when the swelling has gone down sufficiently.
Unfortunately, this does not always happen, and patients are being discharged or treated without the appropriate X-rays taken and scaphoid fractures are left undiagnosed and untreated as a result.
It’s also important to note that often X-rays should be taken from two angles, not one. If your medical professional didn’t take X-rays from both angles a scaphoid fracture can easily be missed.
Make a medical negligence claim for your misdiagnosed scaphoid fracture and get compensated for your injury.
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Claiming Medical Negligence for an Undiagnosed Scaphoid Fracture
An undiagnosed scaphoid fracture 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. At this time no X-ray was taken.
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.
Misdiagnosis of A Scaphoid Fracture
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.
Our Medical Negligence Team Could Help You
Medical misdiagnosis happens more than you might think, but no-one should have to suffer in silence.
If you are suffering as a result of an undiagnosed scaphoid fracture, we are here to help you.
As you can tell from the case above, misdiagnosis can have a lasting impact on your life, which is why we want to help make sure you can live comfortably after the incident.
Compensation won’t take away your pain, but it can help towards medical expenses, travel costs to and from hospital, and make up for any lost wages you suffered as a result of your misdiagnosis.
If you think you might have a case, why not contact our medical negligence solicitors. From our head office in Manchester we can help anyone living in England or Wales.
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