"A&E"

About: St George's Hospital (Tooting) / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I came in on Sunday to A&E with what I thought was a partial tear in my calf muscle but the young doctor (registrar I guess) seemed to think that I had a partial tear in my achilles. I told them that I had no pain there and they replied that the pain would be in the calf muscle where I could feel it. They asked me if I felt like someone kicked me in the leg and I denied. Still they were convinced that it was the achilles.

Outside the curtain the young doctors spoke to the Consultant who didn't even come and see me! Therefore I got put in a cast! I asked if it couldnt be a tear in the muscle and they replied; "No"! I asked for an xray but again the answer was that it wouldnt be neccessary and that we wouldnt be able to see anything on it anyway. So I got the cast, went home all upset, woke up the next morning in terrible pain and a swollen let. Back to A&E for four hours! The staff nurse removed the cast straight away and said that it was just too tight, my foot was overstretched and the ankle felt very painful. She couldnt believe that I hadnt had a xray and therefore I got sent to do so. Again I asked if it couldn't be a muscle tear and the nurse denied and could even feel the step in the achilles. When I asked why I dont feel any pain in the achilles, I was told that its not painful. Which is quite unbelievable. The nurse even showed the the tear on the xray, I wasnt aware that you could see a tear on an xray but for some reason she could.

Again I had to get the cast and was unable to work ( Im self employed) for a whole week plus the fact that I was in discomfort because of my foot position (overstretched).

On the Friday I went to the Fracture clinic and saw the consultant, he seemed quite surprised that I was in a cast for a whole week. He then did some tests and told me more or less straight away that I had partially torn my calf muscle. I told him my story and he also said that you cant see a tear on an xray and said that the two ladies might have been inexperienced and that I would have been in a lot of pain if it would have been the achilles! What else could he say?

I have to say that I lost a week earnings, was in discomfort and dont believe that having my foot overstretched for a week did me any good! My ankle still feels weak and is bruised and Im not happy about it at all! I cant believe that two people who are qualified didn't notice the differece between a muscle tear and an achilles tear. Despite the point that the staff nurse cant even read an xray, which is quite worrying. The first person just needed to get the consultant in to see me or take 10 min of their time to perform an ultra sound or maybe listen to me and what I said and not having a diagnosis in their head and ruling out any other possibilities!

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