Forty four year old Claimant was examined by Defendant GP in relation to an arm injury when extensive mid and lower upper-arm bruising and restricted rotation was noted. Diagnosis of adhesive capsulitis was made and pain killers prescribed. Claimant re-attended seven days later with persisting pain. Defendant prescribed co-drydamol and indicated a referral would be made to hospital to exclude possibility of rotator cuff rupture but failed to arrange referral.
Eight weeks later the Claimant returned for a repeat prescription of co-drydamol and the Defendant confirmed that a referral would now be made. The Claimant was seen three months later when x-rays confirmed chronic dislocated left shoulder and subsequent CT scan confirmed anterior dislocation of left humeral head with a fracture of greater tuberosity.
Open reduction of the shoulder was attempted but procedure had to be abandoned as the humeral shaft shattered. It was decided that the shaft should be allowed to heal and Claimant was prescribed morphine and underwent physiotherapy. As her condition worsened she underwent a shoulder replacement one year later. Three months following the procedure it was discovered that the operation had not been completely successful as the lower humeral shaft was failing to unite. Eight months later she underwent a bone graft.
The Claimant alleged negligence in failing to refer her to A&E after her initial two consultations with the Defendant over a seven day period. Had she been referred earlier she would not have required invasive surgery and limitations to her functions would have been less severe. Liability admitted.
Surgery caused trauma to the ulnar and radial nerves, wrist drop and altered sensation in Claimant’s little finger. She effectively had no use of her left arm and her ability to carry out daily tasks remained severely limited.
Out of court settlement: £450,000 (inclusive of General Damages £66,000).