£30,000 secured for negligent treatment of broken wrist
In November 2014, L slipped and fell on her outreached right arm. She attended the emergency department of her local hospital and an x-ray was taken that revealed that her distal radius bone had snapped in two, and that she had also suffered a significant fracture of her ulnar styloid bones; both bones being in her wrist.
The day after her x-ray she returned to the hospital in order to undergo a manipulation of the broken bones. Once she had undergone this procedure a half cast was fitted and she was informed that her bones were in the correct position. She was told that it would take 6 weeks for her injury to heal.
Over the next 14 days, L had two further check ups where she had x-rays taken and she again was told that her bones were in the correct position and would heal well. At her third check up, her old cast was replaced with a new one and a further x-ray was taken. L was told that within 3 weeks that her cast could be removed and that her wrist would be healed.
However, when this cast was removed at the next check up she was unable to twist her wrist, and her arm appeared lumpy. She was given another x-ray and it was confirmed that the broken bones had not been connected properly, and that this was causing her limited movement in her wrist. L was also told that her ulnar bone was sticking out too far.
L was informed that in order to try and get any motion back in her wrist, she would need to undergo an operation to realign her bones.
Why was this negligent?
Our expert confirmed that at L’s initial appointment and at the subsequent three check up appointments that the doctors failed to identify that her wrist bones had been placed in the wrong position for them to heal properly and had therefore not managed her condition appropriately.
How did this affect L?
Since she had the bone manipulation the day after she broke her wrist L suffered from a lot of pain. She found it very difficult to sleep at night because of the pain her arm was in and it affected her ability to use a computer at work. The adjustments she had to make in order to do her job at her desk led to aches in her back, shoulder and neck. Ultimately, L had to change jobs to something that was less demanding of her wrist.
L also had to undergo quite lengthy physiotherapy. She had exercises to complete, as well as therapy sessions to attend, and this continued until October 2015. L was doing 2-3 hours of exercises a day. This was both painful and time consuming.
L would also have to have further surgery on her wrist to improve the range of movement. This would require her to take more time off work and require more assistance from family and friends after the operation.
L was also unable to drive whilst in a cast and whilst she was recovering. 8 weeks after the cast was taken off L was able to drive by herself, however she had to start driving an automatic vehicle.
How did Royds Withy King help?
Royds Withy King was able to secure damages of £30,000 for L. This compensated her for her losses since the negligence. It compensated her for additional expenses she had incurred as a result of the negligence, such as travel and care, and also included the costs of future surgery being performed at a private hospital.