Did you suffer avoidable harm when you had a missed greenstick fracture as a child or has your own child suffered harm because their greenstick fracture was misdiagnosed? Sometimes, misdiagnoses happen despite the best efforts of medical professionals, but if mistakes were made in patient care that led to a greenstick fracture being missed, this could constitute medical negligence. If harm is caused to a patient because of medical negligence, the patient or their representative could be eligible to launch a compensation claim. This guide aims to offer useful information to those who have found themselves in this position. If you require further clarification on anything within the guide, we can be reached on 0800 652 3087 and we will be glad to talk to you. However, why not read on to find out more about these kinds of claims before you get in touch.
Choose A Section
- A Guide To Missed Greenstick Fracture Claims
- What Is A Missed Greenstick Fracture?
- Causes Of Misdiagnosed Fractures
- Causes Of Greenstick Fractures
- Greenstick Fracture Symptoms
- Greenstick Fracture Diagnosis And Treatment
- Eligibility To Claim For A Missed Or Undiagnosed Fracture
- Greenstick Fractures Misdiagnosed By A GP
- Greenstick Fractures Misdiagnosed By A Hospital
- Rights To NHS Treatment
- Limitation Periods For Clinical Negligence Claims
- Calculating Compensation For Missed Greenstick Fractures
- No Win No Fee Missed Greenstick Fracture Claims
- Contact Medical Negligence Assist
- Supporting Resources
If you or a child you are responsible for has suffered avoidable harm from having a greenstick fracture missed, you may find the below information of real interest. Medical professionals providing care to their patients have a legal duty of care to appropriately diagnose them and treat them accordingly for injuries that they may have sustained. If they fail to do so, because they have ignored symptoms, failed to order the correct diagnostic tests, or failed to properly assess the results of such tests, patients may suffer a missed greenstick fracture. If this means that the optimal window of opportunity for treatment for a greenstick fracture is missed, this could cause avoidable harm. In the case of a missed greenstick fracture, this could mean a poorer prognosis, more invasive treatment or more painful recovery.
This guide aims to offer information to those looking to make a claim for a missed greenstick fracture. You may be reading this guide as a parent of a child that has suffered a missed fracture, or you may be reading as an adult who suffered a misdiagnosed greenstick fracture as a child. Either way, the information contained below may be of use to you.
A missed greenstick fracture is when a person presents to a medical professional with a greenstick fracture, yet the fracture is not diagnosed correctly.
If the greenstick fracture is misdiagnosed or missed due to negligence by medical professionals and this leads to avoidable harm, such as issues with healing or more invasive treatment being required, for example, then you may be eligible to claim compensation for the private or NHS negligence that has caused such avoidable harm.
It would be prudent of us to mention that sometimes, despite the medical professional a child sees for their injury doing the best they can to accurately diagnose an injury, the correct diagnosis may not be given due to other factors. This may mean patients would struggle to make a claim in these instances. If you would like an assessment on your eligibility to claim compensation, either for yourself or on behalf of a child, then we could help you if you choose to get in touch with our team.
There may be a variety of reasons why a greenstick fracture could be misdiagnosed. If you seek advice for a child from a medical professional, and they present with symptoms of an injured wrist from a fall, for example, a fracture injury should be ruled out by the medical professional through the correct diagnostic procedures. This may mean they have to have X-rays taken.
If those X-rays are not ordered, not taken correctly, or not analysed sufficiently, then a greenstick fracture could be missed. These could indicate medical negligence, and if medical negligence has caused avoidable harm, this could lead to you being able to claim compensation on behalf of your child, or your child being eligible to launch their own claim once they turn 18.
Before we look at greenstick fracture causes, we should offer a greenstick fracture definition, so it is clear what type of injury we are discussing here.
Common in younger people, a greenstick fracture is an injury where the bone bends and cracks but doesn’t fully break. These types of fractures could be considered more common in those who have younger bones.
Can Adults Get Greenstick Fractures?
Greenstick fractures are commonly seen in children under 10 because their bones are softer than adults’.
Causes Of Greenstick Fractures
Common causes of greenstick fractures commonly include falls, but they could also be caused by sporting activities. Usually, they are as a result of a child putting their arm out to protect themselves when they fall.
While you may assume a person would not be able to move the affected bone if they have sustained a fracture, this would not necessarily be the case, as with some greenstick fractures of the wrist, patients may still be able to wriggle their fingers, for example. Sometimes it could be difficult to work out whether a bone has been broken. This is why it could be wise to seek medical treatment if you or a child you are responsible for suffers some or all of the symptoms below.
- Grinding or popping at the time of the injury
When patients see a medical professional about an injury, they would likely be asked questions about how the injury occurred. Medical professionals may also try examining the patient and send them for further tests, such as X-rays or scans, should this be appropriate.
They would usually use the images from an X-ray or scan to look at the inside of the arm/other body part to see if the patient has suffered a fracture.
In terms of greenstick fracture treatment, this would largely depend on the severity of the injury and whereabouts the fracture was. If you’re asking do you need a cast for a greenstick fracture, this would depend on which bone was fractured, as we will explain further below.
If, for example, a patient has suffered a greenstick fracture of the wrist, it would be likely that they would need to wear a cast or splint for some time (usually 3-6 weeks) to allow the bone to knit back together. It would be rare to require surgery for a greenstick fracture of the distal radius. However, more serious greenstick fractures may require surgery if the bone is misaligned.
If a patient has suffered a greenstick fracture of the clavicle, however, the treatment will differ, as the clavicle cannot be immobilised in the same way. Instead, the arm would be stabilised in a sling to allow the bones to heal. Again, if the greenstick fracture was more serious, for example, if it pierced the skin or was badly misaligned, surgery may be required.
How Long Does It Take For A Greenstick Fracture To Heal?
Greenstick fracture healing time would usually depend on how badly misaligned the bone was and whether surgery would be required to fix it. In general terms, 3-6 weeks may be enough for a simple greenstick fracture in a child to heal, whereas, in an adult, it could take a little longer, around 6-8 weeks.
For someone to be eligible to claim compensation for a missed greenstick fracture, they would have to be within the limitation period for their specific case. This is discussed in more detail in one of the later sections of this guide. In addition to this, you would have to prove:
Breach of duty of care – As a claimant, you would be required to prove that a medical professional had a duty of care towards you/the patient and that they breached that duty of care.
Causation – You would also have to prove that the breach of the duty of care caused avoidable harm. In the case of a missed greenstick fracture, this could mean a longer healing time, poorer prognosis or necessity for more invasive treatment than the patient would have required had the negligence not occurred.
Proving breach of duty and causation could be complicated but using the services of an experienced medical negligence solicitor could make it less stressful.
If a GP cannot be certain whether a child has suffered a greenstick fracture, they should refer them to hospital facilities to diagnose the child. If they do not do so, then a child could suffer a missed greenstick fracture.
As we have mentioned, missing the optimal window for greenstick fracture treatment could mean the fracture does not heal effectively, and this could cause a child to require more extensive treatment later down the line to fix the issues caused by the delay in treatment. If your GP was negligent and this led to you or a child you are responsible for suffering a delayed diagnosis, leading to avoidable harm, you could be eligible to claim compensation.
If you/your child has visited the hospital via a referral from a GP or has presented at A&E or a minor injuries clinic at the hospital, for example, it could be expected that the medical professionals caring for patients correctly diagnose and provide the most appropriate treatment for the injury.
If patients visit the hospital with an arm injury, then they would expect that a medical professional would ask questions about the injury, the accident that caused the injury and the symptoms that were experienced. An examination may follow, and the medical professional may send the patient for an X-ray or scans if appropriate.
If for some reason, despite showing clear symptoms of a greenstick fracture, a patient is not sent for an X-ray and is not given the correct diagnosis, this could constitute clinical negligence. If a greenstick fracture was missed due to this, then a patient may be able to claim compensation for any avoidable harm caused by such a missed fracture.
Sometimes, however, an X-ray may be ordered, and a greenstick fracture could still be misdiagnosed. This could be the fault of radiology if they have not taken the X-rays at the right angle or position. However, even if radiology came back with clear indications that a patient had suffered such a fracture, someone could still suffer a missed greenstick fracture if the doctor did not assess the X-ray results properly.
While it may be possible for a greenstick fracture to be misdiagnosed despite the best efforts of the medical professionals to diagnose a patient, however, if mistakes are made in the diagnostic process and a fracture is missed, then this could constitute medical malpractice, and therefore you may be able to claim compensation.
If you’re wondering how common a fracture misdiagnosis could be, it may be of interest to know that in a British Medical Journal article from 2001, a busy A&E department was studied and figures relating to misdiagnoses were collated over a period of 4 years. In that time, 953 diagnostic errors were noted with a staggering 79.7% of these being missed fractures. The reasons for these diagnostic errors related to radiographs not being read properly (77.8%) and radiographs not being ordered (13.4%).
In 2012, there was a government statement that promised stronger rights for NHS patients. These included the right to openness of care. A new right was created for patients that means they are now entitled to have any mistakes in their care acknowledged and apologised for.
In addition to this, there was also a new right created that means patients’ complaints now need to be acknowledged within 3 days. Patients also have stronger rights on how such complaints should be handled.
In terms of the standards of care that patients should expect, these are detailed within the CQC (Care Quality Commission) Fundamental Standards. Standards of care should never drop beneath these standards. Some of the CQC standards include:
Safety – You should not be provided with care or treatment that is not considered safe.
Complaints – You must be allowed to complain about your treatment or care and the healthcare provider must have systems in place to effectively handle complaints.
Staff – Your care provider should ensure that staff can provide treatment and care appropriate to their role. They must ensure staff are competent, qualified and experienced.
There are limitations to how long you may have to launch a clinical negligence claim for harm suffered because of a missed greenstick fracture. The personal injury claims time limit in such cases is usually three years. However, this may not be three years from the date the negligence occurred.
In some cases, you may not be aware that you or your child has suffered harm because a greenstick fracture was missed for some time. If, for example, you found out that a misdiagnosed greenstick fracture had caused avoidable harm 6 months after the initial injury, the three-year limitation period would begin from the date of discovery, not the date the misdiagnosis was given.
There are also some exceptions to the limitation period. If you didn’t have the mental or physical capacity to launch a claim at the time, or you suffered a missed greenstick fracture as a child, you may be an exception to the usual time limits. If you are at all unsure as to whether you could still launch a claim, we would be happy to clarify this with you over the phone.
Calculating compensation for a missed greenstick fracture would usually involve assessment of the injury by an independent medical professional, who the injured party would be required to see as part of a personal injury claim. At this appointment, the injured party’s medical condition and prognosis would be assessed, and a report would be written detailing the nature, severity and prognosis of the injury. This medical evidence would be used to value the claim.
You may be looking for a personal injury claims calculator so that you could get an idea of how much a missed or misdiagnosed greenstick fracture claim could be worth. However, we have chosen to provide some information detailing potential payout amounts in a table instead. The figures detailed below are taken from the Judicial College Guidelines.
|Your injury||Notes||Guideline Payout Amount|
|Severe arm injuries||Falling short of amputations but deemed to be severe. These are injuries that could leave the claimant only slightly better off than they would have been if they had lost the arm.||£90,250 to £122,860|
|Arm injuries that result in substantial permanent disability||Fracture to one or both forearms leaving the claimant with severe residual disabilities. These could be cosmetic or functional.||£36,770 to £56,180|
|Less severe arm injuries||Significantly disabling, but with some substantial recovery. This may already have taken place or it may be expected.||£18,020 to £36,770|
|Simple forearm fractures||N/A||£6,190 to £18,020|
|Scarring to the arm||Single disfiguring scar or several noticeable scars.||£7,350 to £21,330|
In addition to the clinical negligence payout amounts above, claimants could also receive special damages that are meant to cover financial losses and costs associated with the negligence that has been suffered. These may include, but are not limited to; care costs, medical expenses, loss of earnings and travel costs. If you have had to bear additional costs or losses directly because of a missed greenstick fracture, please do not hesitate to call us to see if these could be included in a claim.
If you were looking to make a compensation claim for a missed greenstick fracture, either for yourself as an adult or on behalf of a child, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the idea of claiming without any help. Using the services of a medical negligence lawyer could provide real benefits to you. Not only could a personal injury lawyer take on the leg work of proving your case, but they could also offer advice on any settlement offer you might receive. This could mean you’d have a good chance of getting the maximum compensation possible for your case.
Utilising the services of a personal injury solicitor for a medical negligence claim doesn’t have to mean you’d have to pay them upfront, either. If you choose a lawyer that works on a No Win No Fee basis, they would not require payment until your case was successfully concluded. Their terms and conditions for payment would be documented in a Conditional Fee Agreement that you would be asked to sign before the lawyer could take on your case. In the agreement, there would be a success fee mentioned. This would usually be a percentage of your settlement amount and would not be allowed to be more than 25%. If the lawyer was able to obtain a settlement for you, then their success fee percentage would be taken from your total settlement, so you would not be left out of pocket by making a claim in this manner. If you had a valid missed or misdiagnosed greenstick fracture claim but your solicitor didn’t get you any compensation, then this fee would not be payable.
If you have any questions about making a No Win No Fee claim, our team would be happy to answer your questions on this.
If you would like to learn more about how to claim for a missed greenstick fracture, or you’d like to get a free eligibility check on your own situation, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here at Medical Negligence Assist. Our experienced, professional team could provide actionable advice based on your specific situation and we could even connect you with a medical negligence solicitor who could help you make a claim for harm that you have suffered from having a greenstick fracture missed. We can be reached on 0800 652 3087, or you could opt to fill out the contact form and we’ll get in touch with you. Alternatively, we have a handy live chat feature on the site that you could use to contact us. However you would prefer to get in touch, we’ll be happy to help.
NHS Greenstick Fractures – Here, you can read more about greenstick fractures from the NHS.
Fracture Advice On Buckle Fractures – Here, you can find patient information on buckle fractures.
Hospital Compensation Claims – Here, you can read our guide covering compensation claims.
How Long Does It Take To Claim? – Here, we offer some insight as to how long these types of claims could take.
Private Healthcare Negligence – Here, you can read our guide covering compensation claims for private healthcare negligence.
Written by Jo
Edited by LisM.