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Case study: Missed Fracture of the Hip
55-year-old Lucy fell at home landing on her right side. At first she thought she had not seriously damaged herself but the following morning her right hip was becoming increasingly painful so she attended A&E.
Here she was examined and X-rays of the right hip and pelvis were taken. These were considered to be normal by the A&E doctor and she was sent home with a diagnosis of muscular injury.
5 days later the X-rays were reviewed by a consultant radiographer whose report stated “There is an intra-capsular fracture of the right neck of femur”. The correct procedure would have been to recall Lucy to the fracture clinic at this point but for some reason this did not happen.
Not surprisingly Lucy continued to suffer pain and discomfort in her right hip and groin and had difficulty mobilising. She was significantly disabled by the undiagnosed fracture.
It was not until a year later that she was reviewed in the orthopaedic clinic where further X-rays were taken and the original report noted. The new X-rays revealed that the fracture had united but that there was some loss of the femoral head.
Lucy’s pain and disability did not improve and nearly 2 years after the original injury she underwent a right hip arthroscopy and debridement under GA. This has reduced the pain to a degree, but it has not completely gone away.
Had the fracture been diagnosed at the time of the injury, Lucy would have been admitted to hospital and undergone surgical fixation of the fracture. She would have been non-weight bearing for 12 weeks after which she would, on the balance of probabilities, have had full mobility and only residual pain.
The case was settled for £10,000 by one of the specialist solicitors at JMW.
Have you also suffered due to a missed fracture?
Case study of our client Michelle who JMW successfully represented.
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Nineteen-year-old Hayley will require hip replacements when she is in her 40s after a hip injury sustained when she fell from her horse was not picked up. Sally Leonards, a partner in the JMW medical negligence team, secured Hayley £120,000 in compensation.
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