Medical Negligence

Man’s serious foot condition goes undiagnosed for four years

November 3, 2022
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Written by Michael Gray, Partner & Clinical Negligence Solicitor

A 26 year old man suffered a delay in diagnosis of his osteomyelitis over a period of four years before eventually being correctly diagnosed. He then underwent extensive surgery to debride his right foot.

In 2011, Mr R had a foreign object removed from the base of his right foot which had entered following a swimming session in the local river. Despite the removal of the foreign object, Mr R continued to suffer from pain in his right foot and returned to hospital on a number of occasions.

Eventually in May 2013, Mr R underwent an MRI scan which noted the findings as “not fully explanatory” and showed bone oedema at the level of the calcaneum. This should have raised alarm bells for osteomyelitis however this seems to have been ignored and not investigated any further.

Mr R then had a further MRI scan performed in February 2014 and again this showed the same abnormalities, but again this was unfortunately not acted upon. Despite continuing pain and swelling, Mr R was discharged from hospital in March 2015 without his injury having been treated effectively.

Throughout 2016, Mr R continued to suffer from pain and suffering in his right foot and returned to hospital on a number of occasions and by now had also developed a lump on his ankle. Eventually, in May 2017 it was decided that as a result of Mr R’s deteriorating condition, a CT scan was required. The results of which confirmed osteomyelitis right calcaneum.

Mr R was then referred for surgery to debride the area of osteomyelitis and remove the lump from his ankle following which a plaster cast was applied.

Post operatively, the Claimant was advised to elevate his leg and commenced on intravenous antibiotics. He was advised not to put weight on his leg for at least four weeks and required daily blood thinning injections.

Mr R decided to contact Fletchers Solicitors to enquire about making a medical negligence claim after the difficult few years he had experienced. We investigated his claim, assessed his medical records, and in September 2018 the hospital Trust admitted that there was a failure to recognise the abnormalities on the MRI scan carried out in May 2013 and that a diagnosis could have been achieved sooner than was the case.

At the end of September 2018, we settled Mr R’s case for £60,000 with the hospital admitting a breach of duty.

A Solicitor at Fletchers, said: “It is difficult to imagine what Mr R would have been feeling and how he lived with this continued condition which was only worsening and hindering his enjoyment of life even further. I am glad we were able to achieve a significant sum of money for Mr R which will hopefully go some way to compensate him for his suffering over those difficult years.

“We wish Mr R all the best for the future and hope that the Defendant Trust can learn from their mistakes in this case to prevent re-occurrence.”

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