"Poor treatment of an broken ankle"
About: Royal United Hospital Royal United Hospital Bath BA1 3NG
Posted by John Eyley
I broke my ankle (Weber C fracture) 6 weeks ago following dislocation of my left ankle whilst playing football. After this I had surgery on my ankle and had a plate and screws put into my fibula and tibia. I was very pleased with the treatment I got from all the nurses and the surgeons whilst I was on the ward. Since then I had a cast on for 6 weeks and have attended the frature clinic twice. Both times I was seen by and orthopaedic doctor and both times they have given me a very poor quality of care. Neither time did the doctor take any patient history or provide me with much information. All I was told was to, where possible, not my weightbear on the fratured leg whilst ot was in plaster. Yesterday I went to the fracture clinic to get my cast taken off and start my rehabilitation. At this appointment I was expecting to have an assessment of my ankle, see a physio, be provided with a walker boot (partial weightbearing boot), and have regular review appointments booked. Instead none of these things were offered to me and the doctor tried to discharge me. The doctor again seemed to have no time for me, asked very few questions about my ankle and didn't do a manual assessment. As I am a health care professional myself I was aware that this was not right. I should not be discharged, without referral, before I have put any weight on my ankle - in my opinion it is dangerous to discharge someone before they have put any weight through a broken ankle and serious malpractice. As it was, after hopping over to the doctor's office, I managed to pursuade them to not discharge me and to provide me with a walker boot. I am relatively satisfied with this outcome but would be happier if was seen by a (or referred to) physiotherapist. Most of the patients this doctor sees will be less clued up than me on the correct procedure for the treatment/rehab of a broken ankle and would be discharged, prior to fully weightbearing on their ankle, without any review appointment - this is not safe!