Telling a fracture from a fritter

They would have trouble telling a Fracture from a Fritter - said a good friend of mine who had befallen an exact reversal of my fate.

Having emerged from hospital following a CT scan and a number of x-rays I was informed that I appeared to have escaped injury short of a broken clavicle... a collar bone to you or I. This is a reasonably common injury for cyclists, and its a reasonably common bone to break - not least of all as it is is designed to break to adsorb energy away from the bundle of nerves and blood that sit beneath it that feed the arm. Yay evolution.

A week later diligently returning to the fracture clinic full of the joys of spring expecting to be regaled with answers to all the nagging questions that had backed up over the week of enforced R&R - to be told that this fracture was older than a week - and whatever is wrong with the arm is not that - "possibly a rotator cuff issue - lets get an ultrasound". This was a misdiagnosed fracture.

"Right. But? But I have not fractured my collar bone before? Ever?" - says I.

... not quite a shrug - but I am getting the same kind of feeling in return.

Credibility disappears with a Poof! noise akin to a magicians cloud of smoke, or a flash on an old camera.

These people are doing what they can with what they are presented in the most cost effective way, with the best use of time and resources. It is - first and foremost - really appreciated.

However this is not the first, or the second time I have heard of similar from the same place. The aforementioned friend being all but sent home with 'cuts and bruises' to be told on a re-examination that he had a broken rib, back, neck, and cheek. ... or another who had been assured their hips were find to later find breaks.

Seriously - it is a very short jump from bad luck, to coincidence, to pattern, to really rather hard to shake reputation. There is risk, risk management, and there is telling people something as fact when 'let me get a second opinion' or 'I am not sure' or 'I need to run more tests' is what you need to be saying. HAVE A WORD local hospital A&E dept..



One Response to “Telling a fracture from a fritter

  • anthony
    8 years ago


    So – 5 weeks – ultrasound – too sore to do. 7 weeks MRI. 8 weeks definitive diagnosis.

    Two fractures involving the shoulder. Completely missed up to that point.

    Neck to shoulder nerve damage.

    Roll the dice. Embrace the winning.

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