Our customer fell down the stairs and broke her wrist, her injuries weren’t treated properly when she attended hospital and she was left in pain for years and eventually needed a bone graft.
In 2014, Patricia was walking up the stairs at a friend’s when she caught her heel on the top stair. She fell down the stairs, from the first floor to the ground floor, hurting her wrist in the process.
The following day, Patricia found she was in a lot of pain and her wrist was swollen, however, she hoped this would just get better over time. However, the pain did not subside and the following day she decided to attend the walk-in centre to have it checked over.
From the walk-in centre, Patricia attended the hospital as her wrist was fractured. She underwent an x-ray, which revealed her right wrist was broken in two places and she’d also broken her index finger.
A cast was applied to Patricia’s wrist and she was given painkillers upon leaving the hospital. Patricia doesn’t recall being given appointment to attend the fracture clinic.
A couple of days after attending A and E, Patricia attended another hospital as her cast felt too tight and her fingers had started to look blue. She was taken to the fracture clinic and her cast was re-applied.
Patricia later returned to the hospital to have an x-ray, she was then told the fracture had displaced and she would be referred to the hand specialist, where a splint was applied. Around two weeks later, following an appointment with the consultant, Patricia was discharged from their care. Patricia did receive some hand therapy; however, she doesn’t recall that the movement in her hand improved during this time.
After moving house several weeks later, Patricia registered with a new GP and attended an appointment to explain that her finger was numb and she was experiencing pain in her wrist. Her GP was unhappy with how Patricia’s wrist had healed and arranged for an appointment at a hospital with the orthopaedics team.
A few weeks later, Patricia underwent an x-ray of her wrist and the results showed her wrist had unfortunately healed with a deformity, which would cause issues in the future. At the time, Patricia was experiencing pain and struggling with movement in her wrist.
Patricia attended an appointment with a consultant a few months later, where her x-ray was reviewed. The consultant wasn’t happy with the findings and therefore referred Patricia to another consultant who would advise on the treatment needed.
The second consultant explained that Patricia’s hand had not united correctly and the only way to treat this would be with further surgery.
Around six months later, Patricia underwent surgery to correct her wrist and her arm was placed in a cast so she wouldn’t move it. She remained in the hospital for two nights before being discharged.
Following her treatment, Patricia believed she had suffered medical negligence and decided to contact Fletchers.
We investigated Patricia’s claim and found that had her radical fracture been properly diagnosed and treated when she first attended hospital, with surgery rather than a plaster applied, Patricia would have avoided years of pain and suffering. It would have meant Patricia wouldn’t have had restricted movement, a deformed wrist and bone graft from her pelvis. We successfully achieved a settlement of £11,000 for Patricia, which we hope will assist her in the future following her medical negligence.
Andy Tindall, a medical negligence lawyer within our team, handled Patricia’s case and said,
This case shows the importance of the right decision being made when it comes to treating fractures involving the wrist when they are first presented. Within a month, Patricia’s fracture had started to heal and caused a deformity and by the time it was realised, the only treatment available to her was more complex surgery including a bone graft from her pelvis.
Following this surgery, Patricia’s pain levels have reduced and her mobility has improved and I hope this settlement will allow her to return to her previous active lifestyle as much as possible.