Case Study: Delay in Diagnosis of a Fractured Clavicle

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Case Study: Delay in Diagnosis of a Fractured Clavicle

Andy, 41 years old, Dudley

A man has been awarded £4,250 compensation after there was a delay in diagnosing his fractured clavicle.

Andy came off his bike and sustained a fractured left clavicle (collar bone). It was treated conservatively with a sling and painkillers and appeared to heal well.

Fracture is missed

Seven months later Andy had another biking accident, once again taking the impact on his left shoulder. The left clavicle was X-rayed but no new fracture was seen. The obvious deformity of the collar bone was put down to the previous fracture. He was told to rest the arm in a sling and take painkillers as required but no follow-up was arranged.

As he believed his collarbone was not broken Andy returned to work as a builder doing heavy manual work even though he continued to experience pain and discomfort. After 4 months he consulted his GP who referred him for an orthopaedic opinion where an X-ray revealed a fracture of the left clavicle that had failed to unite.


Some months later Andy underwent an open reduction and pinning of the clavicle fracture under general anaesthetic. He has continued to suffer intermittent pain and discomfort in the area of the clavicle fracture since, particularly when he is riding his bike.

The claim

Andy claimed that had the second clavicle fracture (or possibly a re-opening of the first clavicle fracture) been diagnosed after his second accident he would have been told to rest the arm in a sling and to remain off work for several weeks. He would also have been referred to the fracture clinic. Had this occurred the nonunion of the clavicle fracture would have been picked up sooner and he would have been spared months of pain and suffering.

Andy received £4,250 in damages from the hospital trust following expert assistance from JMW solicitors.

Have you also suffered from a delayed diagnosis?

If you or someone you know has suffered in a similar way, give us a call to discuss the situation and to see whether you could be entitled to compensation. Ring us today on 0345 872 6666, or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our friendly team will get in touch with you. 

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