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Compensation for Missed Tendon Injury

Compensation for Missed Tendon Injury

After injuring her finger during a fall, Katya attended Accident and Emergency but was sent home without treatment. Following weeks of pain she was referred to a specialist who diagnosed a missed tendon injury. She has since undergone multiple procedures but will never regain normal function.

One evening, Katya was walking upstairs in her house when she tripped and fell. She put her left hand out to break the fall and immediately realised she had hurt her ring finger.

Katya tried to deal with the pain for the following two days but it became extremely uncomfortable and the finger turned blue in colour. Her husband drove her to A&E where she was examined and sent for an x-ray. The doctor then advised her that there was no injury and she should return home. No other advice was given.

Katya was told by the doctor that her finger would heal within four weeks. But rather than improve, the pain became increasingly worse. The finger was also very stiff and she could not move it. Six weeks after the fall, she attended her GP who prescribed anti-inflammatory medication.

However, the drugs did not agree with her stomach, so Katya returned to her GP a few days later. She was subsequently referred to a number of specialists until a surgeon finally told Katya that she had a trauma injury to the tendon at the top of the finger. The delay in diagnosis had caused the tendon to shrivel down to the knuckle joint, merging with another tendon.

A two-stage tendon reconstruction was required, both under general anaesthetic. Sadly these were not a success and Katya remained in considerable pain. She later had a nerve block procedure, but during the pre-operative assessment sustained an iodine burn to her forearm which has left scarring.

Katya remains in pain and has stiffness and reduced strength in the finger. She is unfortunately left-handed, making it difficult for her to perform everyday tasks such as cutting up food, wringing out a cloth, cutting up vegetables, lifting pans and washing her hair. Her husband must help her with all these activities, putting significant pressure on him.

She has also been unable to return to her job, as her injuries simply do not allow her to carry out the work involved. This has caused Katya, who has two sons, serious financial strain.

After contacting us for legal advice, we instructed a medical expert to write a report on Katya's condition. He said that the injury should have been diagnosed when Katya first attended A&E. Any reasonably competent medical practitioner should have been able to detect the injury, or if there was any uncertainty, ask a more senior colleague for advice.

The medical expert also said that had the injury been diagnosed at A&E, Katya would have had a simple procedure rather than complex surgery. On the balance of probabilities this would have been successful and she would have regained normal function.

We helped Katya make a claim for the long-term injuries she had sustained. She was awarded in excess of £120,000 compensation.

(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)

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"Before we contacted you we had no real idea that we had grounds for a medical negligence claim but after speaking to you if became clear that Wendy was indeed treated poorly. Chris took the time to explain what was happening and kept us to speed. Our deepest gratitude to you all and Chris in particular."

"I would like to say a big thank you to you for making this whole process easy and relatively painless. You kept me informed throughout and you were always polite and courteous in all forms of communication. I would not hesitate to recommend you to friends and family, so a really big thank you and I wish you all the best in the future."

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