Missed Femur Fracture Claims Guide- How To Claim Compensation For A Misdiagnosed Femur Fracture?

A femur fracture is a thigh bone fracture. Because the femur is a large, strong bone, it usually takes a high impact trauma to break it such as a car accident. Femur fractures are very painful and debilitating, so it seems surprising that a doctor could miss a femur fracture. If a patient suffers missed femur fracture and missed neck of femur fracture the patient can suffer unnecessary pain, or even suffer life-threatening complications.

Missed femur fracture compensation claims

Missed femur fracture compensation claims

Has a doctor misdiagnosed your femur fracture? You may be eligible to make a missed femur fracture compensation claim for orthopaedic negligence. Call Medical Negligence Assist today on 0800 652 3087, or use our online claims form to speak to one of our advisors in-depth about your ordeal. If you have legitimate grounds to make a compensation claim for misdiagnosis of a fracture, we will provide you with an excellent personal injury solicitor to handle your case.

Read on to find out more about making a compensation claim for a femur fracture that was misdiagnosed.

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A Guide To Missed Femur Fracture Compensation Claims

All doctors and medical practitioners have a duty of care towards their patients. This means that they are required to provide their patient with adequate standards of medical care. If the patient is provided with substandard medical care and becomes injured, ill or their medical condition is worsened as a result, this is classed as medical negligence. Medical negligence is also known as clinical negligence or medical malpractice. If a patient is harmed because of medical negligence, the medical organisation (such as an NHS trust or private healthcare provider) where they were treated, could be held legally liable for their injuries. As a result, the patient could be entitled to make a personal injury claim for compensation.

Medical errors that can be classed as medical malpractice include a doctor prescribing the wrong medicine, negligence in surgery, or an incident where a doctor misdiagnoses a patient’s condition. This includes missed fractures, such as a femur fracture being misdiagnosed.

In this guide to making a missed femur fracture compensation claim, we will explain what a femur fracture is and how these sorts of injuries can happen. We will also explain what sorts of medical errors can cause a broken femur or femur fracture to be misdiagnosed. We will then explain how to make a medical negligence claim, find a medical negligence solicitor to handle your case. We have included a personal injury claims calculator to help you estimate how much compensation you could be owed for your injuries.

To begin your claim for a missed femur fracture, or missed femoral neck fracture call Medical Negligence Assist for your free medical negligence claims consultation.

What Are Misdiagnosed Fractures And Breaks?

A fractured bone is a bone that has broken or has been cracked. Most people suffering from a bone fracture will go to a hospital Accident & Emergency (A&E) department to have their injuries diagnosed. The broken bone will then be treated in a trauma and orthopaedics department.

Doctors working in a hospital A&E department are responsible for diagnosing injuries, including broken bones or fractured bones. Although doctors may wish to rule out other injuries that have similar symptoms to fractures, they should ensure that patients suffering from symptoms of a fracture have their injuries fully investigated, so that the fracture is not missed.

If a fracture is missed, or misdiagnosed as another injury such as a severe sprain, the patient may experience unnecessary pain. Their fracture could also worsen during this time. In some cases, a fracture injury that goes untreated can lead to life-threatening complications or complications that can impact the patient’s quality of life.

Why May A Fracture Be Misdiagnosed

There are many reasons why misdiagnosis of a fracture incident may happen at a hospital. We will look at the reasons why a hospital could misdiagnose a fracture, below.

  • An inexperienced junior doctor misses a fracture on an x-ray. When in doubt, a junior doctor should ask for a second opinion.
  • A fracture doesn’t show up on an x-ray. Not all fractures are visible on an x-ray. If a fracture doesn’t show up on an x-ray, but a patient is still displaying symptoms of a femur fracture or neck of femur fracture the doctor should carry out further investigations, using a CAT-scan or an MRI scan.
  • The x-ray is taken from the wrong side or wrong angle, so the femur fracture is not visible.
  • The symptoms of a fracture are mistaken for a severe sprain or another condition, which does not need the same level of treatment.
  • There is an administrative error at the hospital. For example, the doctor receives the wrong x-ray or wrong patient notes.

As a precaution, some hospitals have introduced a rule where all x-rays should be reviewed by a specialist to check for missed fractures and misdiagnosis of a fracture. However, it can sometimes take 30 days for the x-ray to be reviewed, in which time the patient’s condition may have worsened dramatically. It should be noted that A&E departments are often under strain, being understaffed or underfunded, which can create conditions where errors, leading to medical negligence incidents, are more likely to happen.

Types And Causes Of A Broken Or Fractured Femur

A broken femur or fractured femur is a break or crack in the femur bone (thigh bone). The femur is a strong bone, therefore a large amount of force is needed to break or fracture it. A high impact trauma accident such as a road traffic accident can be the cause of a femur injury. High impact traumas as a cause of femur fractures are more common in young men aged 15-24 for lifestyle reasons. Older females aged 75 or more are more likely to suffer from pathologic fractures caused by osteoporosis or low-energy falls.

There are different types of femur fractures that can take place. We will now look at what these are in more detail;

The long straight section of the femur, in the middle of the bone, is called the femoral shaft. A femoral shaft fracture is a break or cracks in this area. A femoral shaft fracture almost always requires surgery to heal. A femoral shaft fracture can take between four and six months to heal properly.

Femur neck fractures, femur head fractures and proximal femur fractures are a form of hip fracture, which is treated with surgery. In some cases, the person may have to undergo hip replacement operation.

Another type of femur bone fracture is a fracture of the distal femur, which is the area where the femur bone flares then joins onto the knee bone. A distal femur fracture can cause a haemorrhage around the large artery at the knee joint, which can reduce the blood supply to the leg.

With correct treatment femur, fracture recovery times can be 4-6 months. In some cases, the patient may need rehabilitation to aid their femur fracture recovery.

Femur Fracture Symptoms

Femur fractures are serious injuries that may require extensive treatment. Femur fracture symptoms include the following:

  • Severe pain
  • Inability to move the leg or walk
  • Deformity, i.e. the thigh has become bent or misshapen
  • The thigh has become shorter, as a result of the bone being knocked off centre
  • Swelling
  • Bruising and tenderness
  • Not being able to bear weight on the injured leg

There are different types of fractures that can affect a femur or other parts of the body. These are as follows:

  • Transverse fractures: The bone is broken in a straight horizontal line.
  • Oblique fracture: The bone is broken in an angled line.
  • Spiral fracture: A fracture line circles around the bone.
  • Comminuted fracture: A bone is broken into three or more pieces.
  • Compound fracture: The bone is sticking out through the skin.

A fracture can also be a closed fracture where the skin has not been broken, or an open fracture is where there is an open wound in the injured area.

Fractured Femur Diagnosis And Treatment

A fractured femur is normally diagnosed by x-ray. If the fracture does not show up on the x-ray but the patient is still displaying signs of a fractured femur bone, the x-ray may have to be taken from a different angle or other types of technology such as a CAT-scan or MRI-scan might have to be used.

Most bone fractures are treated by reduction, which means to move the bone back into the correct position. Methods of immobilisation include using a brace, splint, or a cast. However, the femur is a strong bone that is difficult to break. Usually requires surgery and medication. The same is true for a femoral shaft fracture or a neck of femur fracture.

The most common type of femur fracture surgery is called intramedullary nailing which means inserting a metal rod into the length of the bone, and screwing it in place, to keep the bone held together as it knits (heals) overtime. Bones or fragments can also be held in place with screws or pins. The patient may also be prescribed medication to help them manage any pain caused by their injuries.

If a femur fracture is misdiagnosed, and the patient does not receive the medical treatment they need in a short space of time, the patient can experience excessive pain, which would have been avoidable. What’s more, a missed femur fracture or missed neck of femur fracture may result in the patient experiencing medical complications.

Here are some examples of missed femur fracture complications, which can occur if the injury goes untreated:

  • Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is one of the most common forms of arthritis. It causes joint swelling, joint pain and reduced mobility.
  • Haemorrhages: There is a large artery in the knee joint. A distal femur fracture can cause a hemorrhage, which can mean blood supply to the leg becoming reduced.
  • Avascular necrosis: is the death of bone tissue due to a lack of blood supply.
  • Acute compartment syndrome: Acute compartment syndrome is when an enclosed group of muscles experiences internal bleeding and swelling, which can cause muscle damage. In extreme circumstances, this can cause the limb to become so damaged it has to be amputated.
  • Fat embolism: Fat particles into the bloodstream, creating a blockage. The blockage can potentially cut off the supply of blood to a vital organ, which can be life-threatening.
  • Osteomyelitis: In untreated fractures, osteomyelitis can occur. This is when the site of the fracture is flooded with an influx of bacteria and becomes infected. If this goes untreated the patient can develop gangrene and may have to have a limb removed.

Claims For Femur Fractures Misdiagnosed By A GP

A GP doesn’t have the equipment to diagnose a fractured bone. They do not have access to x-ray, CAT-scan or MRI scan machines. However, a GP is trained to spot the signs of a serious fracture such as a femur fracture and refer the patient to a specialist at a hospital for the correct diagnosis and treatment. If a GP negligently fails to spot the signs of a broken or fractured femur, the patient may be able to make a GP medical negligence claim for compensation for any harm that has been suffered that would not be connected with an early fracture diagnosis. Contact Medical Negligence Assist today, to enquire about finding a medical negligence solicitor to handle your compensation claim.

Claims For Femur Fractures Misdiagnosed By A Hospital

Most patients who have suffered a high impact trauma or other injuries leading to a femur fracture will go to a hospital A&E department for diagnosis and treatment. If you have been harmed because a hospital missed your femur fracture, you could potentially claim hospital negligence compensation if it can be proven that the misdiagnosis was due to medical negligence. Call Medical Negligence Assist today to enquire about making a missed femur fracture compensation claim. If we believe that you are eligible to claim, we can provide you with an excellent medical negligence lawyer to handle your case.

What Are My Rights When Being Treated By The NHS?

The NHS constitution sets out the rights of patients being treated by the NHS. New rights were added to the NHS constitution by the government in 2012. This included the right of patients to be treated with openness and transparency, the right to access single-sex accommodation when being treated by a doctor or the right to have a complaint acknowledged within three days. You can read more about updates to your rights when using the NHS, on the government’s website.

Time Limits To Claim Compensation For A Misdiagnosis Of A Fracture

In the UK there is a personal injury claims time limit of three years. This means that if you wish to claim compensation for the misdiagnosis of fracture, you will have three years from the date that you became aware that the misdiagnosis had caused avoidable harm.

To avoid being too late to make your personal injury claim, contact Medical Negligence Assist about making a missed femur fracture compensation claim, today.

Calculating Compensation For A Missed Femur Fracture

If you are successful in claiming medical negligence compensation, your claim will be awarded in two parts:

  • General damages: compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity that you have experienced, as a result of your injuries.
  • Special damages: compensation to reimburse you for any expenses or financial losses you have had, or may have in the future.

You can use our personal injury claims calculator to estimate how much money you could potentially claim in general damages (compensation calculator does not include special damages).

Femur InjuryCommentsSettlement
Femur fractureSimple Fracture of a Femur with No Damage to
Articular Surfaces.
£8,550 to £13,210
Severe Hip injury (iii)This includes the fracture of an
arthritic femur (also includes hip fractures which need a hip replacement) or femur a
fracture which results in the need for a hip replacement.
£36,770 to £49,270
Very serious leg injuryCould include injuries where there are multiple fractures to the bones in the leg.£51,460 to £85,600
Serious leg injuryWhere there is a serious fracture of the leg bones or a comminuted fracture.£36,790 to £51,460
Moderate leg injurySevere crush-type injuries or multiple fractures which are less serious than above.£26,050 - £36,790

Special damages that can be claimed for include medical expenses, which can cover the cost of any corrective treatment you need, or expenses for travel, at-home care, mobility equipment expenses, care expenses, and reimbursement for loss of income. To discuss how much compensation you could be entitled to claim in general damages and special damages, call Medical Negligence Assist for your free consultation.

No Win No Fee Claims For A Misdiagnosed Femur Fracture

What does this mean? With a no win no fee claim, the claimant doesn’t have to pay upfront solicitors fee, so it’s the more affordable option for many. Instead, the personal injury solicitor will only charge the claimant fees if they win their claim. To begin your no win no fee claim for a missed femur fracture, call us today to make your enquiry.

Start Your Claim

If you have suffered because your femur fracture was misdiagnosed, you may be eligible to make a clinical negligence claim for compensation. Contact Medical Negligence Assist today for your free consultation and if you are eligible to claim, we will provide you with an excellent medical negligence solicitor.

Further Information

Hospital Negligence Compensation – A guide to claiming compensation for medical negligence at a hospital.

Misdiagnosis Negligence Compensation Claim – A guide to claiming compensation for medical misdiagnosis.

How Long Does A Medical Negligence Claim Take? – A look at how long it takes to claim compensation for medical negligence.

External Resources

NHS Guide: What Is A Neck Fracture Of A Femur? – Information on the femur bone from the NHS.

A Newcastle Hospitals Guide To Fractured Femur Injuries – A guide from Newcastle hospital on femur fractures.

Other Misdiagnosis Claim Guides

Written by Hana

Edited by LisM.