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Medical Negligence case: NHS missed fracture of the scaphoid

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A recent Pearson Solicitors medical negligence case involved a young man who suffered an injury to his wrist whilst playing football. An x-ray was done but misinterpreted showing no fracture. However, he continued to suffer persisting pain and stiffness which revealed an undisplaced fracture of the scaphoid in which the bone had cracked but had not moved, maintaining its alignment. 

Scaphoid fractures missed

A scaphoid fracture is a known risk in young males aged between 20-30 years, especially if involved in risk-taking activities and sports as it is often caused by extending the arm to break a fall.  It is the second most common wrist fracture and occurs almost exclusively in active young adults. Despite the frequency of the diagnosis in this group, the fact that the fracture is often difficult to identify in initial x-rays and, guidelines having being issued to medical professionals to be aware of this type of injury, the fracture was missed.

This then required surgical treatment, a percutaneous screw fixation and bone grafting following which the fracture went on to unite. 

NHS admits breach

The NHS Trust accepted a breach of duty of care and Pearson Solicitors obtained expert evidence from an orthopaedic surgeon dealing with condition and prognosis.  If it hadn’t been for the delayed diagnosis, conventional treatment in a plaster of paris would have been done with a very good chance of an excellent result.


A Pearson Solicitors medical negligence solicitor negotiated a settlement and the case was settled for £20,000 in compensation for 12 months avoidable pain, suffering and lost amenity, the need for surgery and a modest amount for lost earning opportunities.

Speak to a Clinical Negligence lawyer

To speak to an expert in medical negligence about your case, call 0161 785 3500 or email












Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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