Broken Ankle/Failure to Diagnose
In late May while walking in a pair of clogs my ankle tolled to the outside of the clog.
I was in pain.
I went to my Family Practice doctor.
My ankle was swollen and I explained to him then when my foot was dangling there was a pulling sensation with worse pain.
He thought I might have just sprained it but ordered x-rays and prescribed a gel cast and made a follow-up appointment with an Orthopedic doctor.
The x-rays at the AM/PM clinic showed a fractured fibula just above the lower ankle. Two days after te x-ray I went to the orthopedic doctor who examined those x-rays and took new ones.
He said there was a fractured fibula and said I could either wear the splint provided at the AM/PM clinic, the gel cast, or he could put me in a walking cast – my choice.
I chose the gel cast.
He prescribed Lortab for pain and made a follow-up appt in 3 weeks. At that time he re-x-rayed the ankle and said it was healing well.
He said to continue to wear the gel cast for 2 more weeks and then to remove it for portions of the day, which I did.
The day after I began using my ankle with the case I began having excruciating pain and severe swelling in the ankle, which was across the front of the lower ankle and on the inside ankle bone.
The pain radiated up the shin.
I called for an appt.
He looked at my ankle, I told him of the severe pain.
I also said it didn’t make sense to me that I should be pain free for 6 weeks and then when I begin bearing more weight I am in excruciating pain with severe swelling.
He said maybe “we” rushed it a bit so I should stay off of it as much as possible.
He increased my arthritis med to twice a day for five days. Over the following weekend I was in so much pain I could not stand it.
I thought perhaps I had a stress fracture.
The following Mon I returned to his office.
The pain was worse.
He then prescribed a Medrol dose pak.
It did nothing to relieve the pain.
I called his office and asked for a refill of the pain meds since I had none.
The mesage from his aid was that the doctor does not prescribe pain meds for “chronic” pain, but he would do so this time.
I returned to his office the following Monday at which time the pain was now even worse.
I told him I was not leaving his office until he did something.
He then ordered a bone scan.
The bone scan was abnormal, at which point he ordered an MRI.
The day after the MRI his office called to say to wear my cast ALL the time and to absolutely bear no weight.
I was to see them the next day.
The MRI showed that in addition to the distal fibula fracture I also had a non-displaced distal tibial metaphyseal fracture which is in the exact location of the pain and swelling. Do have a grounds for a medical malpractice suit?
I now have to wear an air cast that goes up to the knee for another 8 weeks abe use crutches for at least another 4 weeks.
I have picked up my records and am going to see another orthopedic doctor.