By Cat Wayne. Last Updated 5th April 2023. If you have suffered avoidable harm because of a missed pubic rami fracture, you may have lots of questions about how your pubic ramus pain could have been mistaken for something else, and how the late diagnosis of such a fracture may have led to a longer pubic ramus fracture healing time. Life after a pelvic fracture can be complicated, and if you know you could have been treated sooner if a medical professional had not negligently missed your pubic rami fracture, you may be looking for answers, and wondering what action you could take to redress the balance.
While we cannot comment on your prognosis or your treatment options, as this would be something only a medical expert could help with, we can advise you on how you could go about making a medical negligence claim for the harm you’ve suffered. You can call Medical Negligence Assist on 0800 652 3087 to get help with beginning a claim, but we would advise you to read the guide below as well to learn more about this type of injury and your options with regards to making a claim.
Choose A Section
- A Guide To Claims For A Missed Pubic Rami Fracture
- What Is A Missed Fracture?
- Why Fractured Or Broken Bones May Be Misdiagnosed
- Causes Of Fractured Pubic Rami Bones
- Pubic Rami Fracture Symptoms
- How Fractures Are Diagnosed And Treated
- How Do You Treat A Pubic Ramus Fracture?
- Eligibility To Claim For Medical Misdiagnosis
- Claims Against GP’s For Missed Pubic Rami Fractures
- Claims Against Hospitals For Missed Pubic Rami Fractures
- NHS Patient Rights And Responsibilities
- Medical Misdiagnosis Claim Limitation Periods
- What Is A Pubic Rami Fracture Worth?
- No Win No Fee Missed Pubic Rami Fracture Claims
- Start A Missed Fracture Claim
- Reference Materials
Missed fractures could happen for a number of different reasons, but if they happen to you, and this means treatment is delayed, it could cause many different issues, from a longer period of rehabilitation to a poorer prognosis. This guide aims to give you information pertaining to missed pubic rami fractures, explaining what effects a misdiagnosis could have on your injury, and why you may be able to make a claim for compensation if you have suffered from medical negligence. Throughout the sections below, you will find advice about many different aspects of making a claim for this type of negligence, along with some approximations of how much your claim could be worth. We also give some advice on finding a lawyer to help you with a claim, as well as explaining how we could help you if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation where your fracture has been missed.
A missed fracture, is, essentially a fracture that is not diagnosed when it should have been. There are various different ways in which this could occur. If you have not sought treatment for an injury and have missed your own fracture, then this would not be the fault of anyone else. However, if you have sought medical attention due the symptoms you’ve suffered, and these symptoms have not been attributed to a pelvic injury that requires investigation, diagnosis and treatment, this could cause problems with your recovery, and your doctor could be held responsible for this.
In some cases, this may mean the treatment options you have are more limited than they would have been if the injury had been diagnosed initially, or it may mean you have to have more invasive treatment. In some cases, you may end up with a poorer prognosis than you would have if negligence had not occurred, and this could cause you problems with walking, bowel and bladder control, and more. If you feel that avoidable harm has been caused because a doctor missed your pubic rami fracture, then you could consider making a claim for compensation.
According to the British Medical Journal’s article on diagnostic errors in an emergency department, based on the study of an A&E department over 4 years, the most common type of misdiagnosis was a fracture injury (79.7%). The most common reasons for misdiagnosis of broken bones were:
- Failure to perform radiographic tests – 13.4%
- Failure to correctly read radiographs – 77.8%
There are many reasons that there may have been a failure to perform tests such as X-rays. These could include:
- Description of symptoms might not align with the usual cause of injury
- An area of referred pain may mean the injury is confused with another injury
- The patient may not display the levels of pain usually experienced by patients with this injury
- The doctor may assume the patient has another type of injury entirely
- The patient may be mixed up with another patient
- And more…
There are also a variety of reasons why X-rays may not have been interpreted properly. These could include:
- Images may not have been clear
- Images may have been taken from the wrong angle
- Images may have been taken of the wrong area
- Images may not have been studied properly
- And more…
Whatever the reason you have suffered harm as the result of a missed fracture of the pubic rami, if negligence could be proved, you could be eligible to make a claim.
You may have some questions about the causes of such an injury, but first, we should explain some details of the injury itself.
Where are the pubic rami? – The pubic region is made up of the superior pubic ramus, the inferior pubic ramus, and the pubic symphysis. Together with the ischium and pubis, the ilium makes up the pelvis area.
What are pubic rami fractures? – This would be a break to the bones in the pubic area. These may or may not happen at the same time as a hip injury.
Is a pubic rami fracture considered a hip fracture? – While some hip fractures also come with a fracture of the pubic rami, they could be considered separate injuries.
Causes of a pubic rami fracture could include:
- Car accidents
- Crush accidents
- Horse riding accidents
- Trips or falls
- Sporting activities such as long jump, hurdling and football
No matter how you have suffered such a fracture, if you suffer avoidable harm because of a missed pubic rami fracture, you could be eligible to claim compensation.
The pelvic fracture symptoms you may experience could include:
- Pain, usually located in the buttocks, hips, pelvis, lower back or groin
- Swelling and bruising around the pelvic bones
- Tingling in the pelvis
- Numbness in the pelvis
- Pain on bowel movement
- Pain on sitting down
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Vaginal bleeding
- Inability to walk
- And more…
Pelvic fractures would usually be diagnosed by a medical professional after discussing the symptoms, examining the area and then ordering relevant tests.
These tests could include:
X- Rays of the pelvic area. We should mention that X-rays would not show injuries to bowels, bladder etc. They would normally be used to assess the structural damage to the area and as such, could be taken from several different angles.
CT Scans – These may also be appropriate in complex cases where it may be necessary to build a 3D picture of the structural damage to the pelvic area.
MRI Scans – These may be appropriate to give clearer images of fractures.
Ultrasound scans – With or without contrast (where dye is injected to show damage more clearly) – these may be used to view organ damage.
In terms of pubic ramus fracture treatment, you can fully weight bear as pain allows and there are no limitations to range of movement only to avoid twisting on the leg. Fractures of the pelvis joint may heal better with walking and this will enable circulation. They often take about 6-8 weeks to heal. These fractures do not need an operation and will heal with time, analgesia and therapy.
Pain management would be an important part of pubic rami fracture rehabilitation at this point, as initial movements may cause pain. Your doctor would work with you to find the most appropriate pain relief for your needs. A physiotherapist would then be required to work with you on helping build muscle strength.
Pubic Ramus Fracture Healing Time
When considering the length of time it will take you to recover from a pubic rami fracture, NHS sources tell us that injuries such as these often take 6-8 weeks to heal. Although, for a more severe pubic ramus fracture, the healing time could be longer than this.
Therapy and pain medication can be used in the healing of an injury such as this.
It’s important to note that whilst the information in this section has been taken from official NHS sources, we are not medical professionals. For bespoke information on an injury you have sustained, it’s always best to seek professional medical help or advice.
In order to claim for a missed or misdiagnosed pubic rami fracture, you would need to prove that the medical professional/s in question had a duty of care towards you and that they breached that duty. You would also have to prove that the breach of duty had caused you harm that could have been avoided.
Proving this could be complex and would require you to obtain a written report from an independent medic, to show how the harm you suffered could have been avoided. This is why some claimants prefer to get professional help with making a claim. If you are looking for assistance with making such a claim, whether you are claiming on behalf of a relative or making a claim for yourself, we could help connect you with a medical negligence solicitor that could take your claim forward for you.
When you visit your GP with pelvic fracture symptoms, you would expect that the GP would talk to you and examine you in order to work out the nature of your injury. If they are unable to diagnose you and treat you themselves, they should refer you to someone else that could. In the case of a fracture to the pelvis, you would expect them to send you to the hospital, but if they don’t, and you suffer a missed fracture of the pubic rami or any other injury, this could cause you problems with healing. If so, you could claim compensation for the harm you’ve suffered and the financial implications of such harm.
If your hospital has missed a pubic rami fracture, this could be as a result of:
- An X-ray/scan not being ordered
- Scan/X-rays not being clear and accurately taken
- X-rays/scans not being interpreted correctly
However, the reasons behind these errors could include:
Pressure on the NHS – According to a CQC report, there is more pressure than before on the NHS to treat larger numbers of patients, especially during the winter. If a doctor or radiologist under pressure has made an error and misdiagnosed or missed a fractured pubic ramus, it could be because of this. However, this could still be considered clinical negligence.
Whether your missed fracture of the pubic rami was caused by one of these reasons or another instance of medical malpractice, you could consider making a claim for any avoidable harm you have suffered as a result of the negligence.
According to the CQC standards, you have a right to receive care that is safe, and that care should be administered by a member of staff that is appropriately qualified, experienced and competent.
In addition to this, in recent years, there has been a strengthening of patient’s rights regarding openness and complaints. Patients have the right to have a complaint about their care acknowledged within a period of 3 days, and should have some say on the way in which the complaints would be handled. In addition to this, they have a right for mistakes with their care to be acknowledged, explained and apologised for.
As with all personal injury claims, there would be a personal injury claims time limit that would apply to your claim. The limit is, in most cases, three years from the date of the discovery that your missed pubic rami fracture had caused you to suffer avoidable harm. This is not necessarily the date that you sustained the initial injury.
There are also some exceptions to this time limit. Different limits could apply to those who would not have had the capacity to claim at the time, for example. If you are unsure as to how long you might have to claim then why not call our team and we could explore this for you?
If you have been injured, you may be wondering “what is a pubic rami claim worth?” How much you could receive should your pubic rami fracture claim succeed depends on a variety of factors. For example, your pubic ramus fracture healing time could have an effect on how much you receive, as a longer healing time with more intense treatment could garner a higher award.
Personal injury compensation can be split into two heads: general damages, and special damages. The first head, general damages, provides compensation for the pain and suffering you endure because of your fracture. The table below illustrates some relevant entries from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which helps solicitors calculate general damages awards by providing guideline amounts.
|Type of Injury
|Severe pelvic/hip injuries
|Fractures of the pelvis that are extensive. These could involve low back joint dislocation, rupture of the bladder, injuries to the hip that cause spondylolisthesis of a lower back joint, which could cause intolerable levels of pain, and that might require fusion of the spine. Hip deformity making the use of a calliper essential, bowel and bladder control could be lost, and there could be some sexual dysfunction.
|£78,400 to £130,930
|Severe hip and pelvic injuries
|Slightly less severe than in the bracket above. Examples could include dislocation fracture of the pelvis involving both ischial and pubic rami and resulting in impotence. Another example could include myositis ossificans which are traumatic and form ectopic bone that surrounds the hip.
|£61,910 to £78,400
|Severe hip/pelvic injuries
|Acetabulum fracture that leads to instability of the leg and degenerative changes, which makes osteoporosis or hip replacement surgery a likelihood.
|£39,170 to £52,500
|Moderate hip/pelvic injuries
|Significant injury to the pelvis or hip but any permanent disability is not major and any future risk not great.
|£26,590 to £39,170
|Moderate hip/pelvis injury
|Hip replacement may have been required, or other surgery. Or, it may be a foreseeable course of action.
|£12,590 to £26,590
|Lesser pelvic/hip injuries
|Little to no disability long-term
|Up to £12,590
The second head of your claim, special damages, covers the financial impacts of the pubic rami fracture. For example, under this heading, you could potentially claim back the cost of:
- Medical bills
- Home adjustments
- Domestic help
- Mobility aids
However, in order to claim under special damages, you must be able to prove that these losses occurred as a result of your injuries.
To learn more about what your public rami fracture claim could be worth, we recommend you get in touch with our team today.
If you’re suffering chronic pain after a pelvic fracture that was missed or misdiagnosed, and you believe the medical malpractice you’ve suffered caused you avoidable harm, you may wish to get legal advice and support from an experienced medical negligence lawyer.
The benefits of using a trained medical negligence solicitor are many and varied, but one of the main benefits could be that you wouldn’t have to go through the claims process alone. Your personal injury solicitor would be able to talk you through the whole process step-by-step, and could build the case on your behalf, which could take some of the stress of claiming off you. They could also offer assistance on any offers of compensation, advising you whether you could be wise to take an offer, or whether you could continue to push for a higher payout.
Retaining the services of a lawyer need not mean you have to pay for their services upfront. If you choose a personal injury lawyer that works on a No Win No Fee basis for your personal injury claim, then you wouldn’t need to pay their fees until your case was concluded. At the beginning of your claim, you would be required to sign a Conditional Fee Agreement that promised a success fee to them, which would be a percentage of your payout. The success fee couldn’t be more than 25%, and would only be payable in the event of a successful payout. If you had a valid claim, but the lawyer didn’t get you any compensation, this success fee would not be payable.
If you would like to learn more about claiming compensation for avoidable harm caused by a missed fracture, or you’d like our help with finding a medical negligence solicitor to help you, here at Medical Negligence Assist, we’d be glad to offer some assistance. We could offer an assessment of your case for free, and without obligation, to see if you could be eligible to make a medical negligence claim of this type and we could offer situation-specific guidance on what options you could have if you’ve been a victim of clinical negligence. Our professional, yet friendly team can be reached on 0800 652 3087, or if you prefer, you could use the live chat or contact form on the site. All advice is free of charge so why not get in touch with us today?
BMJ – Preventable Harm To Patients – An article published in 2019 regarding the prevalence and reduction of preventable harm.
Fracture Assessment/Management – NICE guidelines on the assessment and management of fractures can be seen here.
Surgical Error Claims – If you were harmed by negligent surgical treatment, then this guide could be of use.
Negligent Hospital Treatment– Here you can read some advice on hospital negligence.
Calculating Compensation – You can read more about how compensation could be calculated here.
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Written by Jo
Edited by LisM.