Mr D from North Devon suffered a fall and injured his wrist. He attended his local Accident and Emergency Department.
Mr D was told he had fractured the scaphoid bone in his wrist. His wrist was immobilised using a temporary splint and he was told by a Consultant in the Orthopaedic Department that his injury was not severe and should probably heal by itself.
Mr D had a cast in place for 10 weeks. An X-ray and a further CT scan confirmed the bone was not uniting as it should. Mr D was advised to avoid permanent injury he would need surgery to fix the fracture with a bone graft taken from his hip.
Mr D had this surgery and a screw was used to unite the fractured bone. Although initially it was thought that the operation had been successful it was 6 months later when X rays taken showed the surgery had not united the fracture, the screw had moved and the procedure would need to be carried out again.
Unfortunately, this procedure was no more successful than the first.
Several months later Mr D was told the fracture had not united and he was referred to a specialist hand orthopaedic surgeon at a different hospital. 2 years had passed since Mr D’s original injury.
The hand surgeon explained he would now need to attempt to unite the bone by using a different screw placed through a different part of the bone. He would also take a small blood supply from elsewhere in the wrist to graft to the bone in hopes this would keep the bone alive. He explained that due to the delay in carrying out this procedure the chances of success were dramatically reduced. Unfortunately, the surgeon was proved correct and the procedure was unsuccessful.
Mr D was told without further treatment the range of movement of the wrist would significantly reduce but now the only option available to him now would be a fusion operation which in itself would limit range of movement to 50 – 60%.
Mr D decided to delay this surgery to avoid any further time away from work. After each procedure Mr D had his wrist immobilised in a cast and had only been able to carry out light duties at work and at home.
Mr D was left with increased stiffness and pain in the wrist.
Court proceedings were issued and following negotiations with the Defendant before trial they agreed to compensate Mr D in the sum of £85,000.00 for his pain, suffering and loss of amenity and in consideration of the long term impact of injuries on his work and family life.