Undiagnosed & Missed Fractures

More about failure to diagnose fractures

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More about failure to diagnose fractures

Fractures can occur in one of two ways: a sudden and large application of force to a bone or a series of smaller forces, which repeat to cause a break in the bone (stress fractures).

Establishing the cause and type of fracture is important since the treatment that is appropriate for each individual fracture is different. The location of a fracture also affects the way in which it is fixed and treated, for example with casts, plates, screws, rods or external fixing.

A failure to diagnose the fracture, either through not taking an x-ray or misinterpreting it, may lead to mistreatment and mismanagement of the fracture. This can lead to a period of unnecessary pain and suffering and serious complications. Failure to diagnose, a delay in diagnosis and incorrect treatment of the fractures may lead to infections such as osteomyelitis and possibly avascular necrosis (bone death).

 

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