Failure to diagnose back fracture

JMW represented a woman who was left with life-changing disabilities due to poor medical care, obtaining £25,000 in compensation for her.

Compensation: £25,000

Norma, 40

Norma, 40, has been left in constant pain and struggling with many physical activities due to a failure to diagnose a back fracture. JMW took on Norma’s case and secured her £25,000 in compensation.

Missed fracture following X-ray

Norma’s troubles began when she fainted in her kitchen and fell on the floor. When she came round she could not move and had severe pain in her back. Eventually, one of Norma’s children found her and called an ambulance.

When Norma arrived at hospital she was taken for an X-ray, and was later told that she had not broken or fractured anything. She was told to go home and rest, despite continuing to suffer intense pain that kept her away from work for two weeks. Norma was subsequently prescribed ibuprofen by her GP and attended private physiotherapy sessions for three months, but her pain did not get any better.

MRI finds a fracture

Norma continued to see her GP for pain relief and was referred for appointments with various consultants over the next five years as the pain in her back and joints continued. Eventually, she underwent an MRI scan and when discussing treatment options it came to light that Norma had sustained a fracture to her back.

Norma was told that she could have a rod inserted into her back to improve her posture as her upper torso had started to curve into her lower abdomen. The consultant told Norma that he would not attempt to fix the fracture even though it had healed in an incorrect position, as the development of Norma’s osteoporosis meant that surgery posed a risk of damaging other vertebrae in her spine.

Problems traced back to missed diagnosis

After contacting the hospital Norma subsequently discovered that the X-ray taken after her initial fall all those years ago had actually shown the fracture. Had it been diagnosed at the time, she would have been able to undergo corrective treatment.

Instead, curvature of her spine had developed as a result of the fracture, making it the root cause of her current problems. Several treatment options were discussed with her and she opted to receive physiotherapy, injections into her spine and pain management support, due to the risks associated with surgery.

Constant pain and resultant effects

Norma now walks with an awkward gait and has been aged by the constant pain she is in. Although she has been able to hold down a full-time job, she has missed out on holidays and has no social life. She has also gained weight because she is no longer able to walk very far and finds work a struggle.


After Norma contacted JMW for advice, the team investigated her case and took on her fight for justice. JMW secured her £25,000 in compensation from the hospital trust for her pain and suffering.

Get in touch

If you or a loved one has suffered permanent effects following medical negligence, contact JMW today to find out if you can make a claim. Call us on 0800 054 6512, or fill in our online enquiry form to request a call back.

Back to main orthopaedic injury claims page


# # # #

Let us contact you

View our Privacy Policy

Areas of Interest


Latest Tweets @ClinNegSpeak

In this blog @StevenBrownJMW, a spinal injury specialist in our team, discusses Getting it Right First Time report…

Follow us