Case study: Failure to Diagnose Tendon Damage

Compensation: £30,000

Steven, 61  

JMW has helped a man receive £30,000 compensation after doctors failed to diagnose tendon damage in his hand which has led to permanent damage.

A hospital doctor failed to diagnose tendon damage in Steven’s hand after he fell and injured himself at work. As a result, he did not receive appropriate treatment and was left with permanent pain, stiffness and reduced grip strength. Steven’s case was taken on by Nick Young, a specialist solicitor at JMW, and he was awarded £30,000 in compensation.


Steven’s ordeal began when he tipped at work and fell into a glass door. The door smashed and Steven landed on the shards of glass that remained jutting from the door frame and cut his right forearm badly.

Steven went to A&E at the nearest hospital immediately where doctors suspected he had suffered tendon damage. Steven had lost movement in three of the fingers on his right hand and was admitted to hospital for a wash-out of the wound and exploratory surgery the following morning.

Failure to diagnose

The next day Dr Q performed an exploratory operation and washout of Steven’s wound under general anaesthetic. However Dr Q failed to recognise that Steven had suffered tendon damage and fully appreciate the severity of his injury and repair the damage during the surgery.

Further errors 

A couple of weeks later Steven attended a follow-up appointment at the hospital so that his injuries could be further assessed. Yet again the doctors who assessed Steven’s arm failed to appreciate the severity of his injuries, despite the fact that he could still not move three fingers in his right hand. As a result, they failed to arrange a referral for urgent revision surgery. 

Ongoing problems 

After a referral to a different hospital, Steven eventually underwent revision surgery to repair the tendon damage. The operation achieved a degree of success however Steven was still left with pain, stiffness and reduced grip strength, causing difficulties for him at work. The outcome for

Steven was significantly worse than if his arm had been treated properly in the first place.
Steven was extremely frustrated with the poor care he had received and the fact that heCould no longer perform his work duties effectively due to the negligent treatment. He contacted the specialist medical negligence team at JMW for advice and his case was taken on by Nick Young, who obtained Steven £30,000 in compensation. 


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