Case study: Missed Hip Fracture

Compensation: £50,000

Gina, Birmingham 

Fifty-three-year-old Gina tripped over her cat and fell heavily on her left leg. When she arrived at A&E the whole of her leg was painful but the attending doctor examined only the knee, which was badly bruised. She was then sent home with analgesia and crutches. No X-rays were taken.

Gina struggled on at home but as the left hip was becoming progressively more painful her GP referred her to an orthopaedic specialist about three months after the initial fall. An X-ray of the hip revealed an old un-united, displaced fracture of the neck of the left femur.

Some days later Gina underwent a total hip replacement, which has not been completely successful. She still suffers pain in the hip and her mobility is restricted. She requires a crutch to get about indoors and uses a wheelchair when outside. Gina does suffer from arthritis but she is now much more severely disabled than she would have been had she not had to have the hip replaced, and her general quality of life has been considerably reduced.

If the fracture of the hip had been detected at the time of the initial injury it could have been treated with a simple internal fixation with screws. Gina would not have required a total hip replacement and she would have avoided three months of pain and disability attempting to mobilise on a fractured hip.


The defendant hospital admitted that an X-ray of hip should have been taken when Gina first attended A&E and the case was settled for £50,000 by Angharad Hughes, one of JMW’s expert solicitors.

Have you also suffered a missed diagnosis of an injury?

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