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Two missed fractures in ankle


craiga20uk
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I injured my ankle back in 2007, it was originally diagnosed as a sprained ankle and damaged ligaments. I would like to point out that x-rays were taken before this diagnosis. I have been under the specialist at my local hospital, and i has come to light over the past couple of years that I had actually fractured my ankle in two places. I have undergone physio through the nhs, and also through nuffield health, but still have constant problems with my ankle. I cannot put weight on the ankle some mornings, and cannot walk any decent distances without experiencing pain. I don't understand how trained professionals can miss bone fractures? I have also had ct and mri scans on the ankle, but still nothing done by the nhs. Has anyone else had any experiences like this? I have put a complaint in with my local hospital, I am just worried what the future holds in regards to arthritis etc.

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Just wondering what the treatment was for the ankle sprain and torn ligaments? Even such a soft tissue injury can lead to long term problems. If the fractures were that difficult to see - were they cracks and there was no displacement of the bones?

 

My son slammed his hand in a door and I took him to A&E as it swelled up very quickly. They took an xray and said it was fine so we went away but he kept his hand in a sling for a about a week and needed pain relief. The swelling and bruising took a time to go down. About 2 weeks later I got a phone call from the hospital asking how he was because they had reviewed his xray and now thought it was a fracture. Luckily as it was a crack and the bones had stayed tight together it had healed fine just with keeping it in a sling.

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I had crutches for a couple of weeks, and the ankle had elastic tubing applied to it. I know that soft tissue injuries can cause long term damage, but for a trained professional to miss not one, but two fractures is inexcusable. I don't think there was any displacement of the bones, but considering it was back in 2007 it is probably hard to tell. No ligaments were torn as far as I know, the hospital put it down to strained ligaments.

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Undisplaced fractures/cracks can be difficult to spot and I am not sure how much difference there would have been to the treatment given has your consultant said you should have had different treatment. A bad sprain would be treated in a similar way and would also result in a weakened ankle/ possible arthritis.

Having said that my mum had problems with pain in her knee following a knee replacement and had an xray which was pronounced as "fine". She asked for a second opinion about the xray- the xray was sent to the consultant who put the knee in and he assessed the same xray as the replacement knee joint had completely failed and needed to be replaced! She made a complaint about the original x ray report which was upheld and a copy of the xray is now used for training radiographers as to what a failed replacement knee joint looks like.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I tore the ligaments and bone off in my ankle about 4 years ago. It was only X-rayed once and they couldn't tell the extent because of the swelling. It was put in a cast for 2 days and then an air-cast because I was going on holiday. When my OH joked in front of a Dr. that he was glad it was just a sprain, they said it can take far longer to heal than a fracture.

 

I can vouch that it does and it took at least 2 years to even feel steady without limping and even now it's still not 'right. I force myself to use it and put my weight on it now without anything happening. Part of it I put down as fear...When something hurts, or you think it will hurt, you avoid it - when really you should be doing the opposite.

 

I was told that it was going to be prone to arthritis, pretty much like every other bit of my body I've managed to break.

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Graiga20uk, Hi Its an age old problem, The wrists and ankles are notoriously difficult when it comes to seeing fractures in the bones. If you look at a diagram of the bones in the ankle or wrist there are places that if you visualise them in 3d that you cannot see. Normally 2 X-rays will be taken from different angles to try and see if there is a fracture. Unfortunately there are some areas that no matter how you view them certain areas of the bone cannot be seen.

My daughter about two years ago slipped and fell in the ice. She came home in a great amount of pain. Being an ex nurse with some experience of A+E I pressed a few areas and told my wife that I was taking her to the A+E because I believed she had a ****** fracture. She was x-rayed but no fracture showed. Being the type of fracture that I thought it was, the wrist was put into a splint and I was told to return in two weeks time were it was x-rayed and after review it was found to have a fracture. I asked to see the x-ray and I could still not see the fracture. The doctor pointed out an area of new bone growth . He stated that if there was new bone growth then there must be a fracture in an area we could not see. Some fractures can only be diagnosed when new bone growth starts and even then it it difficult.

 

It may be of help to you to ask if you can see your x-rays and discuss it with an expert from the x-ray department to explain to you how it was missed.

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Sorry your original post is a bit confusing. Who diagnosed the fractures and how did they diagnose them if the CT and MRI showed nothing. Who ordered these in any case?

 

I had a bad sprain playing hockey at High School and still to this day have issues with that ankle. I have a valgus deformity (turns in) and excruciating plantar fasciitis. What do you hope to achieve?

Disclaimer: Any advice given is solely my own. I advise you seek professional advice in the first instance.

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