Delayed Diagnosis of Achilles Tendon Rupture – case settles for £12,000

28th May 2021 – Our client, a 48-year-old man from Kent, suffered an Achilles tendon rupture on 27.05.19.He attended the Minor Injuries Unit in Folkestone, where there was an inadequate examination. In particular, a Simmonds test was not performed. As such, the diagnosis of his ruptured Achilles tendon was not made. Instead, the diagnosis was of a possible DVT and a referral was made to the A&E department.

On review in the A&E department, on the same day, there was again no Simmonds test performed and so again the diagnosis of his ruptured Achilles tendon was not made.

It was not until our client attended the orthopaedic department on 02.08.19 that the Simmonds test was finally performed, this demonstrating the ruptured Achilles tendon. That diagnosis resulted in an operation to repair the Achilles tendon on 25.09.19 (4 months following the original injury).

Subsequently, our client continued to suffer with stiffness in the right calf, swelling in the right ankle after activity, and limitation in walking capacity.

Expert evidence was obtained from an Orthopaedic Surgeon which confirmed that a Simmonds test performed at any stage prior to 02.08.19 would have been positive and would have resulted in the diagnosis being made. An early diagnosis would have resulted in conservative management, such that our client would not have required the operation, and would have avoided the 4 month wait for treatment. However, a comparable recovery from the Achilles tendon rupture was made (i.e. the same level of recovery / the same ongoing symptoms would have been expected in any event).

A letter of claim was submitted to the Kent Community Health NHS Trust (for the MIU treatment) and to the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust (for the A&E treatment). Liability was admitted in respect of the A&E treatment.

The East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust made an offer of £12,000 to settle the claim, and this was accepted by our client.

Alex Tengroth had conduct of the matter.

Our client said “What I’m most pleased about is that the NHS locally has reviewed its practices and has been training staff to test for injuries like mine more thoroughly. It was my main reason for taking action and I’m really pleased with Alex and the team at Fairweathers for the result they’ve achieved for me.”

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