What is a Bimalleolar Fracture?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The medical term for a broken ankle is a bimalleolar fracture, or a break at the lower parts of the tibia and fibula. Bimalleolar fractures commonly occur due to falls, car accidents, and sports-related activities. A number of bones in the ankle can fracture in an accident, leading to severe pain and temporary disability. The displacement of bones in the ankle often requires surgery to treat. Post-surgery recovery generally takes several weeks of physical rehabilitation and home exercises. Bimalleolar fractures can cause great pain and suffering as well as financial losses. When someone else’s negligence results in a broken ankle, take action against the responsible party.

Types of Bimalleolar Fractures

Ankle fractures can be simple breaks in a single bone or can include several complex fractures and displaced bones. There are three main categories of bimalleolar fractures: unimalleolar, bimalleolar, and trimalleor. One-third of all ankle fractures are either bimalleolar or trimalleor. Ankle fractures often occur in traumas such as car crashes or trip and fall accidents. Depending on the severity of the fracture, the ligaments in the ankle can suffer damage as well.

Three main bones make up the ankle: the tibia, fibula, and talus. Each bone has different areas doctors use to classify the fracture. For example, if the end of the fibula fractures, it’s a lateral malleolus fracture. The ankle also has two main joints, the ankle join and the syndesmosis joint. Multiple ligaments hold these joints together, making the ankle stable. When an accident compromises the bones, joints, or ligaments, the victim may be unable to walk for 12 to 16 weeks during recovery.

Common Symptoms of a Bimalleolar Fracture

If your bimalleolar fracture isn’t severe enough that you can immediately identify you have a broken ankle, this is probably a good sign. However, every ankle fracture injury requires the attention of a physician. Common symptoms of a bimalleolar fracture include:

  • Severe and immediate ankle pain
  • Swelling of the fractured area
  • Bruising or hematoma
  • Painful to the touch
  • Inability to put weight on the injured foot
  • Physical deformity, in the case of joint dislocation

These symptoms can be very painful. Walking may also be labored and/or difficult for several months. The effects of a bimalleolar fracture can be severe, preventing a victim from returning to work during the recovery process. Lost wages and mounting medical bills can also put a strain on the victim’s finances.

Treatment for Bimalleolar Fractures

A physician will assess your fracture using an imaging test and will recommend treatment. The level of the fracture determines the type of treatment that’s best for your injury. If your ankle is stable and the bone is not dislocated, physicians most often recommend non-surgical treatment. Your doctor can prescribe several different non-surgical treatments, including a short leg cast or a high-top tennis shoe.

If your fracture makes the ankle unstable, you may need surgery to reconstruct the normal shape of the broken anklebone, decrease ligament damage, and accelerate recovery. During surgery, the surgeon will reposition the ankle and hold it in place with special screws or metal plates. After surgery, you will need a cast to keep the ankle in place while it heals. Your rate of recovery will vary depending on the severity of the bimalleolar fracture, but ankles can typically bear a complete weight load 12 to 16 weeks after treatment.

Complications are rare in bimalleolar fracture surgeries, and if there are complications, they typically relate directly to the surgery. Risks can involve complications due to infection, nerve damage, anesthesia, bleeding, or blood clots. However, the majority of bimalleolar fractures do not result in complications and do not require additional surgery to repair.

Posted by admin at 8:57 pm

Can I Sue a Doctor for Giving Me Bad Advice?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Society relies on health care professionals to provide life-saving procedures, treatments, and medical advice. When patients suffer an illness or injury, they trust physicians to locate the source of the problem and recommend a solution based on years of special training and expertise. Doctors have a duty to uphold high standards of patient care, by law and under the Hippocratic oath. While an honest mistake is not grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit, negligence resulting in injury is a reason to seek legal counsel.

Negligence and Medical Malpractice

The foundation of every medical malpractice case is a physician’s alleged negligence. When a doctor fails to exercise the proper standards of care, including giving bad advice to a patient, it isn’t necessarily malpractice. Bad advice can simply be an honest oversight. People rely on physicians for help deciding on a course of treatment based on information and symptoms the patient provides. Unfortunately, this treatment may not always be what is best, and if another physician reasonably would have given different advice in the same situation, it may be negligence.

For a case of medical negligence, you must prove four things:

  1. The doctor owed you a standard of care. A doctor-patient relationship must exist between you and your doctor at the time of the alleged bad advice. To do so, you must show that the doctor in question was in fact your doctor at the time of the incident.
  2. The doctor breached an ethical duty to uphold this standard of care. In this case, the doctor gave you bad advice. You must prove the doctor’s reason for breaching the standard of care stemmed from negligence, such as not listening to your symptoms or reading your patient chart.
  3. The doctor’s breach of duty caused your injury. It’s not enough to prove that a doctor was negligent and breached the acceptable standards of care. The breach must have caused you an injury. For instance, you must provide proof that taking the doctor’s bad advice worsened your condition.
  4. You suffered damages as a result of the negligence. If you didn’t suffer damages from the doctor’s breach of duty, there’s no point in pursuing a lawsuit.

If you can prove these four things, you likely have a case of medical negligence on your hands. Your doctor may have been distracted during your appointment, or the hospital could have mixed up your medical records. There are many types of negligence and reasons a doctor may give bad advice to a patient, but in every case the injured patient has the right to pursue recovery.

How to Establish Wrongdoing

Medical malpractice cases can be complex, with a heavy burden of proof on the victim. Establishing a doctor’s wrongdoing requires interviewing eyewitnesses, such as nurses or maintenance crewmembers, analyzing your medical records, and hiring an expert key witness to testify. The key witness can tell the jury what the defendant reasonably should have advised according to professional standards. In a case of bad advice, proving negligence is especially difficult. The doctor may have believed the actions or advice he or she provided was best based on the symptoms.

Luckily, the law recognizes the difficulties a plaintiff faces when proving medical negligence. If your injuries were the direct result of a doctor’s negligence but you can’t pinpoint exactly what the doctor did wrong, you can invoke a legal doctrine called “res ipsa loquitur,” Latin for “the thing speaks for itself.” This implies you only have to show you suffered an injury that must be the result of negligence. Consult with an expert Personal injury attorney about your bad advice incident and subsequent injuries to find out if you have the elements of a medical malpractice case.

Posted by admin at 10:43 pm