Scaphoid fractures and surgical negligence: can I make a claim?

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Terry Regan

Director and Head of Medical and Clinical Negligence

Suffering from a scaphoid fracture can be a challenging personal injury to live with, but it can be even worse if you encounter clinical negligence. With scaphoid fractures accounting for 2% of fractures overall, this is a common issue. In this guide, we will explore what a scaphoid fracture is and explain the common complications and risks associated with it.

We will also see how you can identify scaphoid fracture negligence and how you can make a claim for scaphoid fracture compensation. Finally, we will see how a medical negligence solicitor like Wake Smith can help you to seek compensation for surgical negligence if faults occur.

What is a scaphoid fracture?

As the most commonly injured carpal bone, a scaphoid fracture is a widespread arm and wrist injury. It is essentially one way in which you can break your wrist, with the fracture occurring on the scaphoid bone - the bone which sits at the base of your thumb. A suspected scaphoid fracture is characterised by pain and swelling along the wrist, but there is not usually any visible deformity.

What are the common complications and risks of a scaphoid fracture?

A scaphoid fracture can be extremely painful and uncomfortable for the sufferer. Due to the delicate bones at this point in the wrist, as well as the presence of small blood vessels, it is important to seek medical attention and, even with the right care, a scaphoid fracture can take up to three months to heal. However, a missed scaphoid fracture can cause unexpected complications.

These can include malunion when the fractured bones do not heal together. This can cause increased pain and make daily life difficult, as well as lead to potential arthritis at the site.

In some cases, avascular necrosis can occur. This is when the fracture causes a tear to your bone's artery, which means the bone does not receive the correct blood supply. This can lead to the bone tissues becoming necrotic (dead) and can require a bone graft. Over time, avascular necrosis becomes more evident and painful leading to loss of motion in the wrist.

Delayed union can happen if a scaphoid fracture is missed, which is when the healing process takes longer than expected. This can cause daily pain for the person with the fracture, and damage to the wrist.

If you have a missed fracture, or you believe it was caused during surgery, please get in touch with our qualified solicitors today.

How can I identify scaphoid fracture negligence?

You will be able to identify if you have been the victim of scaphoid fracture negligence if you have been seen by a doctor and they have failed to diagnose your fracture. In other cases, you may have undergone surgery and the surgeon may not have recognised the signs of a scaphoid fracture, leaving it untreated and resulting in further complications for you.

If medical negligence has occurred, it is imperative that you seek legal advice to fully understand your rights before you pursue a surgical negligence claim. This will lead to the most beneficial possible outcome for you.

How can I make a claim of surgical negligence for my scaphoid fracture?

When you are beginning to think about making a compensation claim of surgical negligence for your scaphoid fracture, you may be uncertain of how to proceed. To begin with, you must collect all relevant evidence of negligence. This should include letters and emails that have gone between you and your medical professional.

You can also make a note of the consequences that have occurred from complications due to the error, as well as additional harm that has been caused to you - such as pain, being unable to work, or further medical issues.

Finally, you should contact a law firm such as Wake Smith to assist you in making a fracture misdiagnosis or medical negligence claim.

How a medical negligence solicitor can help me

A qualified medical negligence solicitor is an invaluable ally when you need to make a claim and achieve compensation. They will be familiar with the administrative processes involved in making such a claim and will be able to advise you of the documentation and evidence you require. As the claim proceeds, they will also be able to liaise with the negligent party in order to achieve the best outcome for you - an admittance of negligence or misdiagnosis and compensation in accordance with your pain and suffering.

In many cases, a medical negligence solicitor will seek to settle your claim quickly, with the least amount of cost and stress to you. However, if you do need to proceed to court, they will also provide counsel for you to ensure you understand your rights and achieve a positive outcome where possible.

How Wake Smith can help

Wake Smith can help you in pursuing various types of clinical negligence and injury claims. We understand that medical negligence can have a huge impact on your life, and we will be able to advise you on the likelihood of success with a claim and how to proceed from there. Contact us for a free initial consultation, before moving on to discuss your finance and funding options.

Once this has been confirmed, we will contact the correct medical body and open discussions with them, aiming to settle, but protecting your interests if they do not claim liability. Get in touch to see how we can help you.

Common queries

How successful is scaphoid surgery?

While every scaphoid injury is different, the success rates with scaphoid surgery are quite high - falling at somewhere between 65% and 95% success.

How do scaphoid fractures occur?

A scaphoid fracture normally happens when you catch yourself while falling. For example, if you fall onto your palm while it is outstretched, you place a large amount of weight on your scaphoid bone, which can result in a fracture.

How can a solicitor help me with my scaphoid fracture

A specialist and accredited medical negligence solicitor can help you to explore whether your personal injury claim is likely to be valid, and support you in contacting the medical body at fault. They will also be able to help if you are required to go to court, or advise you on the best way to proceed at this point.

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Director and Head of Medical and Clinical Negligence

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