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Negligent Fracture Treatment?

Been the victim of Medical Malpractice or fighting a malpractice suit? Discuss it here.

Negligent Fracture Treatment?

Postby Rexford » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:50 am

Hi. I have a question about whether the particulars of my medical treatment qualify as medical malpractice(specifically, negligent fracture treatment). On July 25, 2009, I was involved in a motorcycle accident. I was treated at a local ER where xrays showed a broken ankle and hand. Both injuries were temporarily bandaged, and I was referred to a local Orthopaedic office for further treatment. On July 27, 2009, I first visited the Orthopaedic Office. I told them I had significant pain in my leg, and a new xray showed that I had broken my fibula, as well. I was never again treated by the doctor I saw that day. Instead, on July 29, 2009, I went to the hospital for surgical treatment of my ankle and hand. Just prior to the surgery, I met the doctor who would treat me for the duration of my care by that office. We’ll call him Dr. Quack. He explained that he would be placing two screws in my ankle, and two pins in my hand. I asked if they would be doing anything to treat the break in my fibula. He said no – that everything would be held in place by the screws in my ankle. Over the next few months, I continued to experience pain around the fibular fracture site. During my appointments with Dr. Quack, I would ask him about the pain and question whether the fracture had healed and if there had been soft tissue damage. He was dismissive and consistently told me that the pain was a result of not pursuing physical therapy aggressively enough. He said that I should exercise more. He never again x-rayed my leg. In December, my leg hurt so badly, my phsyical therapist stopped all work with me. I told her I was concerned that the break had not healed, and she was shocked to hear that there was ever a fracture. There was NO mention of it in my patient file. My therapist enlisted another doctor in the practice and had her xray my leg(the other doctor confirmed that the fibular fracture was not noted in my file). The xray showed that the fracture had tried to heal, but it did not appear the two bone ends were meeting entirely. The new doctor consulted Dr. Quack who looked at the xray and insisted that the leg had healed. It became apparent, though, that because it was not mentioned in my file, Dr. Quack had forgotten that my leg was broken. In fairness, if he didn’t look at my initial xrays taken at his office, he may not have ever known. In any case, I was no longer comfortable with him, and I went to another Orthopaedic practice for a second opinion. My new surgeon, Dr. Angel, looked at the most recent fibular xray from Dr. Quack’s office and determined that my leg was still broken. A bone scan confirmed his diagnosis, and in January 2010, a plate and six pins were permanently attached to my fibula to fix the fracture. Now, 21 months later, I am still experiencing issues with leg pain. Dr. Angel referred me to an ankle specialist in his office. It is had been determined that the initial trauma to my leg was a Stage III incident. The first stage is the fracture of my ankle; the second, ligament damage; and third, the fracture of my fibula. When an incident reaches stage III, certain repairs must be made to the ankle in order to return to normal function. Because Dr. Quack was not aware of the fibula fracture(stage III), he only treated stage I and assumed there was no stage II damage. Now, I have to have another surgery to repair stage II of the injury – ligament damage. Screws will permanently affix ligaments to my lower fibula in order to stabilize my ankle. So, my question is this – by omitting the fibular fracture from my patient file, did the first Orthopaedic office commit medical malpractice? I asked Dr. Quack several times(and in front of witnesses) about the fibular fracture. He responded in dismissive ways that made me think he knew what I was talking about and thought my suggestions were absurd. As it turns out, he likely had no idea what I was referring to and merely wanted to hurry me out of his office. The result is nearly two years of pain, physical therapy, and two additional surgeries with permanent internal fixtures. The other catch is this: the initial incident resulted in a civil action. I was hit on the motorcycle by a drunk driver, and a few months ago, settled with her insurance company. The money paid my lawyer’s fees, medical bills, and not much more. My personal injury lawyer indicated that if I pursued a medical malpractice claim against Dr. Quack and/or his practice, that settlement money  would be considered and substracted from any potential award in the new case. Is this true? And finally, I’m afraid my personal injury lawyer is a small-town golf buddy of Dr. Quack. Any recommendations on how to select a medical malpractice lawyer, if my case merits a suit? Thanks very much!
Rexford
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:10 am

Negligent Fracture Treatment?

Postby Jenilynn » Sat Dec 10, 2016 3:26 am

Hi. I have a question about whether the particulars of my medical treatment qualify as medical malpractice(specifically, negligent fracture treatment). On July 25, 2009, I was involved in a motorcycle accident. I was treated at a local ER where xrays showed a broken ankle and hand. Both injuries were temporarily bandaged, and I was referred to a local Orthopaedic office for further treatment. On July 27, 2009, I first visited the Orthopaedic Office. I told them I had significant pain in my leg, and a new xray showed that I had broken my fibula, as well. I was never again treated by the doctor I saw that day. Instead, on July 29, 2009, I went to the hospital for surgical treatment of my ankle and hand. Just prior to the surgery, I met the doctor who would treat me for the duration of my care by that office. We’ll call him Dr. Quack. He explained that he would be placing two screws in my ankle, and two pins in my hand. I asked if they would be doing anything to treat the break in my fibula. He said no – that everything would be held in place by the screws in my ankle. Over the next few months, I continued to experience pain around the fibular fracture site. During my appointments with Dr. Quack, I would ask him about the pain and question whether the fracture had healed and if there had been soft tissue damage. He was dismissive and consistently told me that the pain was a result of not pursuing physical therapy aggressively enough. He said that I should exercise more. He never again x-rayed my leg. In December, my leg hurt so badly, my phsyical therapist stopped all work with me. I told her I was concerned that the break had not healed, and she was shocked to hear that there was ever a fracture. There was NO mention of it in my patient file. My therapist enlisted another doctor in the practice and had her xray my leg(the other doctor confirmed that the fibular fracture was not noted in my file). The xray showed that the fracture had tried to heal, but it did not appear the two bone ends were meeting entirely. The new doctor consulted Dr. Quack who looked at the xray and insisted that the leg had healed. It became apparent, though, that because it was not mentioned in my file, Dr. Quack had forgotten that my leg was broken. In fairness, if he didn’t look at my initial xrays taken at his office, he may not have ever known. In any case, I was no longer comfortable with him, and I went to another Orthopaedic practice for a second opinion. My new surgeon, Dr. Angel, looked at the most recent fibular xray from Dr. Quack’s office and determined that my leg was still broken. A bone scan confirmed his diagnosis, and in January 2010, a plate and six pins were permanently attached to my fibula to fix the fracture. Now, 21 months later, I am still experiencing issues with leg pain. Dr. Angel referred me to an ankle specialist in his office. It is had been determined that the initial trauma to my leg was a Stage III incident. The first stage is the fracture of my ankle; the second, ligament damage; and third, the fracture of my fibula. When an incident reaches stage III, certain repairs must be made to the ankle in order to return to normal function. Because Dr. Quack was not aware of the fibula fracture(stage III), he only treated stage I and assumed there was no stage II damage. Now, I have to have another surgery to repair stage II of the injury – ligament damage. Screws will permanently affix ligaments to my lower fibula in order to stabilize my ankle. So, my question is this – by omitting the fibular fracture from my patient file, did the first Orthopaedic office commit medical malpractice? I asked Dr. Quack several times(and in front of witnesses) about the fibular fracture. He responded in dismissive ways that made me think he knew what I was talking about and thought my suggestions were absurd. As it turns out, he likely had no idea what I was referring to and merely wanted to hurry me out of his office. The result is nearly two years of pain, physical therapy, and two additional surgeries with permanent internal fixtures. The other catch is this: the initial incident resulted in a civil action. I was hit on the motorcycle by a drunk driver, and a few months ago, settled with her insurance company. The money paid my lawyer’s fees, medical bills, and not much more. My personal injury lawyer indicated that if I pursued a medical malpractice claim against Dr. Quack and/or his practice, that settlement money  would be considered and substracted from any potential award in the new case. Is this true? And finally, I’m afraid my personal injury lawyer is a small-town golf buddy of Dr. Quack. Any recommendations on how to select a medical malpractice lawyer, if my case merits a suit? Thanks very much!
Jenilynn
 
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:08 pm

Negligent Fracture Treatment?

Postby Fridgeir » Sun Dec 11, 2016 2:21 pm

Morgan,

I am sure you are not surprised to hear that my answer is that it sounds like there was a breach of the standard of care for: 1) failing to note the fracture; and 2) failure to treat the fracture.  

I suggest you see a medical malpractice attorney in your area as soon as possible since there are strict time limits to bring a lawsuit and this occurred a lengthy period of time ago.

I suggest you seek an attorney in a bigger city.  You can contact your state bar or the national board of trial advocacy to find out if there are certified specialists in your state.

I wish you the best.

Paul D. Friedman, M.A., Ph.D., J.D.
Fridgeir
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:31 pm


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