There are numerous small bones that are arranged together intricately to form the wrist joint. One of these bones is called the scaphoid bone. One of the most common reasons for a scaphoid injury is when someone puts their hand out to protect themselves when trying to break their fall. Falling on the outstretched hand puts tremendous force on the wrist that can result in a fracture of the scaphoid bone.
The anatomy of the wrist with its elaborate network of numerous small bones and tendons makes a fracture of the scaphoid bone very difficult to detect even with an X-Ray. Most doctors miss it either because the fracture was so tiny or because the view of the X-Ray was not correct. Whatever the reason the scaphoid fracture was not detected, it could amount to clinical negligence and you may be entitled to file a claim for scaphoid injury compensation claim.
Symptoms And Long Term Effects Of Scaphoid Injuries
Immediately after falling on your outstretched hand, pain and swelling around the wrist and tenderness in the area just below the thumb are common symptoms that you have injured and most probably fractured your scaphoid bone. The swelling is from the blood from the fractured bone filling into the wrist joint.
Most people dismiss the initial pain as a sprain. They apply a cold pack over the area and hope the injury heals by itself with time. However, the wrist heals by itself permanently in very rare cases.
In most cases, the wrist seems to get better temporarily because the pain decreases but the symptoms can resurface sharply when using the wrist to perform some chore or moving the wrist in certain directions.
In many other cases, the bone fails to heal from the outset and the injury worsens rapidly developing into what is known in medical terms as a ‘nonunion’. Gradual increase in pain when performing certain tasks is one of the most common symptoms of a nonunion of the scaphoid bone. If it is not treated on time, the nonunion can eventually lead to degenerative arthritis in the wrist joint.
Scaphoid Injury Diagnosis
A doctor usually suspects that you may have a scaphoid injury by the way that the injury happened – a fall on your outstretched hand. To confirm the diagnosis, they will examine your wrist and hand thoroughly to determine if there is a specific point under the thumb that is tender and painful. An X-Ray is also done to confirm the presence of a scaphoid injury. If the doctor fails to diagnose the scaphoid injury, you may be sent home with a diagnosis of a sprain.
However, if the pain persists or gets worse and a re-diagnosis reveals the scaphoid injury, you may have grounds to file a clinical negligence claim.
The Law Regarding Clinical Negligence
According to the law, medical professionals have a duty of care towards their patients, which means they are required to treat patients to the best of their ability and take all due precautions in dispensing any medical treatment. Failure to diagnose a scaphoid fracture on time, leading to delayed treatment is considered clinical negligence.
The Implications Of Clinical Negligence And Your Rights
Failure to diagnose the scaphoid injury and the resultant delayed treatment may affect you in several ways. The debilitating pain may have made it painful or even impossible for you to perform your everyday chores at home or at work. Taking leave from work may result in loss of wages and other work-related benefits. Your quality of life may also suffer because of not being able to participate in your favorite pastimes.
In addition to all of this, you may also incur additional expenses by way of additional doctor’s bills and X-Rays as well as pain-relieving and inflammatory medications.
If the extra pain, inconvenience and expenses were a direct result of the scaphoid injury not being detected on time, you may be entitled to claim scaphoid fracture compensation.
Filing A Scaphoid Misdiagnosis Claim
Filing a medical negligence claim can be very complicated. For your claim to be successful you must be able to prove two things:
- That the doctor failed to detect the scaphoid injuries and in doing so failed in their duty of care.
- That your present pain and injuries are due to the doctor’s negligence.
To be able to prove both of the above, you will almost certainly want to hire an independent medical professional to investigate what happened and to give their expert testimony. You will also have to gather all of the other evidence and build a strong case proving medical negligence. This must be filed before the statutory 3 year limit.
Hiring a personal injury solicitor to file a scaphoid injury claim on your behalf gives you several advantages. For one thing personal injury solicitors have thorough knowledge of personal injury law and they are familiar with the legal process.
Secondly, you do not have to pay any upfront fees if you claim with us. If you have a strong case, most personal injury solicitors will undertake your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. This essentially means you do not have to pay any fees at any point while the case is in progress. You only pay a fee if you win the case and are awarded compensation. In most cases, the fee will be a small percent of the total amount awarded to you. To read more about how No Win No Fee works please see this page.
In addition to their legal expertise, personal injury solicitors also have access to legal experts that they can consult with as well as medical experts who they can call on to give their expert testimony supporting your claim.
When fighting your scaphoid misdiagnosis claim, our personal injury solicitors will never get talked into settling for anything less than the full amount you are entitled to. They will make sure that you get the maximum award to compensate for your pain and suffering, loss of income and reimbursement of all medical related expenses, from doctor’s fees and cost of medication and diagnostic tests to the cost of traveling to and from the hospital.