Woman Left In ‘Excruciating’ Pain For Three Years After Worcester Hospital Made Mistakes While Treating Her Broken Leg

Specialist Medical Negligence Lawyers At Irwin Mitchell Secure Admission Of Liability From NHS Trust

30.09.2015

A young woman who broke her leg whilst playing football has spoken out for the first time after the NHS Trust responsible for her care admitted that it made mistakes which left her suffering ‘agonising pain’ for THREE years.

Sally Marsh, from Diglis, in Worcester was playing for her local women’s football team in August 2012 when she landed awkwardly fracturing two bones in her right leg. She was rushed to Worcester Royal Hospital for x-rays and had her leg put into a cast.

However a catalogue of errors including delays in performing surgery and discharging her too early led to her suffering nerve damage and a deformity in her leg.

The 25-year-old instructed specialist medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her treatment at Worcestershire hospital, run by the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust. The law firm has now secured an admission of liability that the Trust failed to provide her with the correct treatment and expert lawyers are now working with the NHS to secure a fair settlement for Sally for her ongoing medical care and rehabilitation.

After the injury Sally was in a lot of pain and was told she was allowed to put weight on her leg. She spent 8 weeks in a full leg cast before being fitted with a half leg cast for a further 6 weeks until she was given an airboot. However, after Sally’s cast had been removed her leg looked completely bent and she went back to see an Orthopaedic specialist at Worcester Hospital. He told her that her bones had not healed and had set at a 19 degree angle – which was causing her extreme pain.

Sally was told she needed an operation to align her bones in a few weeks’ time – but she did not have the surgery for another 9 months, on 12th November 2013, as it was repeatedly cancelled by the Trust. Following the surgery she had a metal cage fitted to her leg to help it heal but ended up developing several infections where her wounds oozed green fluid and had to have repeated doses of antibiotics.

The NHS Trust has now admitted that:

  • Sally shouldn’t have been discharged fully weight bearing on 13th August 2012;
  • There was a failure to recognise that Sally required surgical intervention and conservative treatment should have been abandoned;
  • That the above failures delayed Sally’s recovery and she would have avoided  having to wear a metal cage on her leg, undergoing tibia and fibula osteotomies (cutting and shortening the bones in surgery to allow them to heal), and ultimately leading to a deformity of the bones in her leg and nerve damage, which could have been all avoided.

It was not until March 2014 that the metal cage was removed from her leg and Sally continues to suffer a lot of pain and still has to wear the airboot and in August this year she was referred for more surgery to fix screws and bolts to her leg to help stabilize the fractures which have not healed and a bone graft. All being well, Sally is now on the road to recovery. 

Expert Opinion
“Sally has spent months and years in excruciating pain and was unable to go to work, walk properly or lead a normal life.

“She was originally admitted to Worcester Royal Hospital in August 2012, was assessed and told she did not need surgery and that the fractures in her leg would heal in time. Whilst she was wearing a cast on her leg her bones did not achieve alignment allowing them to heal properly, which the Trust admits they failed to recognise, and she has since had to have multiple procedures and admissions to hospital to correct the mistakes.

“Sally still faces the prospect of further surgery in the future and has been forced to have a huge amount of time off work. She has also been unable to play football, something which she has always been very passionate about.

“Worcestershire Acute Hospital NHS Trust has now admitted that mistakes were made in Sally’s care and we hope lessons will be learned so that future patients will be given the very best quality of care. The medical negligence has had a massive impact on Sally’s life and it is important that patient safety is improved to reduce the risk of similar incidents in future.”
Adam Wright, Solicitor

Sally said: “The past few years have been incredibly difficult for me and it has been very frustrating not being able to lead such an active life like I did before the injury. I have always been an avid football player, playing at any opportunity. At the time, I played for KGV Women’s football team and I have been unable to play since the accident in August 2012.

“I am still in a great amount of pain on a daily basis, which affects my mobility and also it has also forced me to have a significant amount of time off work. Even after my latest operation to align the bones, my big toe, foot and shin became numb which was very worrying and I immediately mentioned it to consultant. The feeling has now returned but not fully and it just seems to be one thing after another.

"I am so annoyed that I might have to have even more surgery, which will put my recovery back even further and may have to wear another cast. I am desperate to get my life back to normal. I should have been given the correct treatment to start with which would have avoided the past three years’ worth of hospital visits, surgeries and ongoing pain and I would have made a full recovery.

“It’s a relief that at least now the NHS Trust has admitted that it made mistakes and my legal case can move to the next stage. I just hope that no one else has to suffer as I have in the future.”