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Fractured Heel Bone

Posted by Ann on 10/07/02 at 00:03 (096996)

I recently went to Lanzarote with my son and family and fractured my heel bone. The first Spanish doctor said it was not broken/fractured when he saw the xrays. I was told to keep the foot up high and take pain killers for 3 days.

After 6 days of real agony we then went to another doctor. He immediately said 'I can tell that is broken without even doing an xray'. He sent me for xrays and yes, it was fractured. I was put in plaster (toes to knee) and he came on the morning of our flight home (two days after) and sawed the plaster down the front. He also gave me a letter of permission to fly home. I was to keep the plaster on for two weeks and I was told to report immediately to my GP on return home, which I did and was then referred to the fracture clinic at the local hospital. I attended the clinic last Monday.

We were down there 5.5 hrs. When finally I had the plaster removed and xrayed it was confirmed I had fractured my heel by the Radiographer. Then the doctor spent 2 minutes with me after all the hours of waiting and said 'Can you walk on it?' I said 'No, I cannot even put my weight on it'. He then asked me to donate the crutches to the hospital! I said 'No, how will I get home? I need them to walk and besides I paid 50 Euro for them in Lanzarote'. So he just used his dictaphone and said 'Patient reluctant to walk on it' then turned dismissing me and said 'Come back in 3 weeks.'

My daughter-in-law and I were gobsmacked! I was sent home with no support bandage, in great pain and I am STILL using my crutches unable to put weight on the foot. The swelling on the foot is like a balloon. The foot is black & blue all over. I am on 6 pain killers a day.

I sat in tears that evening after we came home from the hospital. I then realised that the doctor had gone by the date of the accident, not when the 2nd diagnosis had been done and I had the plaster put on. So I only had the plaster on for 6 days.

Now I am left that I cannot go to my medical practitioner as he would just refer me to the hospital doctor again! Have you any suggestion as to what I can do please to ease this awful pain?

Thank you
Ann

Re: Fractured Heel Bone

Ed Davis, DPM on 10/07/02 at 16:59 (097032)

What other access to doctors do you have? You seem to imply that you have limited access.

It sounds like you should have a pressure bandage and a cast on, perhaps an above knee cast. I would need to know more about the type of fracture to be sure. Your experience at the clinic sounds very unusual -- where did this occur?
Ed

Re: Fractured Heel Bone

Ann on 10/07/02 at 17:23 (097037)

Dear Ed,

Thank you for responding. I am from the United Kingdom. Here I would only be referred back to the hospital Specialist I saw if I went to my local doctor complaining.

The fracture is on the right side, just up from the flat of the heel. The doctor when he saw the exrays poked the other side and said 'Does that hurt?' I said 'No, it is the other side'. He then asked me to walk on it as I have already mentioned.

My daughter-in-law applied a pressure bandage, but my foot was so swollen I felt worse and worried about my poor circulation in my legs as I had Thrombosis once. I did feel more comfortable when I had the plaster on. It is just my opinion that he should have left it on more than one week.

I can only wait until my appointment at the hospital in two weeks to see the Specialist again and hope things have improved. If not, I will certainly complain and take the matter further to a complaints committee.

Thank you for your advice. I realise there is nothing you can do. I just wondered if anything could ease the pain.

Ann

Re: Fractured Heel Bone

Ed Davis, DPM on 10/08/02 at 10:46 (097072)

Does your current doctor agree with the diagnosis of a fracture? If so, a cast is needed. Casts can be contraindicated if a blood clot is suspected so with your histroy of thrombosis I would check things very carefully before applying the cast. Is there a possiblity of seeing a private physician for another opinion?
Ed

Re: Ann

Pete on 10/09/02 at 04:00 (097114)

Our wonderful NHS service again. I suffer from pf but that's beside the point. What I can say is that a friend of mine had similar treatment when he broke his leg falling froma ladder.....basically then plastered him up and said come back in 3 weeks. He wasn't happy, went private, and got the matter sorted out. BUPA told him his leg wouldn't have healed properly based on the NHS treatment. I know money will be an issue but why don't you get a private diagnosis, if you're heel doesn't mend peoperly you'll create more problems

Re: Ann

Ann on 10/09/02 at 04:18 (097117)

Pete,

Thank you for your response. I will look into private medical help. But I am a pensioner and it could cost quite a lot.

It is a disgrace how people like us are treated in the UK. My husband paid into the National Health for 50 years and myself 45 years. He had no illness until he was diagnosed with cancer two weeks before his 65th birthday. The 3 months he was in and out of hospital he was treated very badly (except for the nurses). In the end he asked to come home to die in peace. Instead of a an ambulance bringing him home, they sent him home in a hospital bus! With three steps to descend. He was dressed in a hospital gown owing to an operation that did not heal and pyjamas were impossible to wear. This is how he was presented to me at my front door.... walking, when he was so bedridden by and he was skin and bones. He died two weeks later.

So yes, the UK is disgusting for medical care.

Ed,
The only doctors that I would consider going to in our GP practice are on holiday this next two weeks. The other one treated my husband with no sympathy and I would think he would treat me with none either. I will await the appointment in 1.5 weeks to see the hospital doctor again. Then if I have not improved I will have a lot to say.

Thankyou for your responses.

Ann

Re: Ann

pala on 10/09/02 at 10:51 (097135)

ann, that;s awfu. it's terrible here too. i have great private insurance i pay a fortune for. when i was in the hospital last year i was treated horribly even by some nurses. don't even ask how the doctors and other staff behave. i believe that when it is my time to die now i would crawl into the woods behind my home. it is hard for me to imagine any suffering nature can dole out that is worse than these mecical monsters. ( doctors on this board who have helped me so much for free being the exception to the rule) and in fairness a couple of docs and a pt who have behaved very decently to me. but i'd give it a three to 30 ratio of decent to monsters.

Re: Ann

Ann on 10/09/02 at 11:10 (097137)

Pala,

This seems to have stemmed a discussion of it's own on the medical treatment in countries. I am glad the UK is not alone in it's 'gripes'. We have a new group formed called P.A.L.S. here, set up to be an individual complaints company, aimed at the NHS patients. But I fear not many people, including myself, want to be brought to public notice for complaining when they have lost a husband of an illness that could not be cured anyway. It is enough trying to adapt one's life afterwards. So one feels they do not want the hastle.

Thanks for responding,
Ann

Re: Fractured Heel Bone

Ed Davis, DPM on 10/07/02 at 16:59 (097032)

What other access to doctors do you have? You seem to imply that you have limited access.

It sounds like you should have a pressure bandage and a cast on, perhaps an above knee cast. I would need to know more about the type of fracture to be sure. Your experience at the clinic sounds very unusual -- where did this occur?
Ed

Re: Fractured Heel Bone

Ann on 10/07/02 at 17:23 (097037)

Dear Ed,

Thank you for responding. I am from the United Kingdom. Here I would only be referred back to the hospital Specialist I saw if I went to my local doctor complaining.

The fracture is on the right side, just up from the flat of the heel. The doctor when he saw the exrays poked the other side and said 'Does that hurt?' I said 'No, it is the other side'. He then asked me to walk on it as I have already mentioned.

My daughter-in-law applied a pressure bandage, but my foot was so swollen I felt worse and worried about my poor circulation in my legs as I had Thrombosis once. I did feel more comfortable when I had the plaster on. It is just my opinion that he should have left it on more than one week.

I can only wait until my appointment at the hospital in two weeks to see the Specialist again and hope things have improved. If not, I will certainly complain and take the matter further to a complaints committee.

Thank you for your advice. I realise there is nothing you can do. I just wondered if anything could ease the pain.

Ann

Re: Fractured Heel Bone

Ed Davis, DPM on 10/08/02 at 10:46 (097072)

Does your current doctor agree with the diagnosis of a fracture? If so, a cast is needed. Casts can be contraindicated if a blood clot is suspected so with your histroy of thrombosis I would check things very carefully before applying the cast. Is there a possiblity of seeing a private physician for another opinion?
Ed

Re: Ann

Pete on 10/09/02 at 04:00 (097114)

Our wonderful NHS service again. I suffer from pf but that's beside the point. What I can say is that a friend of mine had similar treatment when he broke his leg falling froma ladder.....basically then plastered him up and said come back in 3 weeks. He wasn't happy, went private, and got the matter sorted out. BUPA told him his leg wouldn't have healed properly based on the NHS treatment. I know money will be an issue but why don't you get a private diagnosis, if you're heel doesn't mend peoperly you'll create more problems

Re: Ann

Ann on 10/09/02 at 04:18 (097117)

Pete,

Thank you for your response. I will look into private medical help. But I am a pensioner and it could cost quite a lot.

It is a disgrace how people like us are treated in the UK. My husband paid into the National Health for 50 years and myself 45 years. He had no illness until he was diagnosed with cancer two weeks before his 65th birthday. The 3 months he was in and out of hospital he was treated very badly (except for the nurses). In the end he asked to come home to die in peace. Instead of a an ambulance bringing him home, they sent him home in a hospital bus! With three steps to descend. He was dressed in a hospital gown owing to an operation that did not heal and pyjamas were impossible to wear. This is how he was presented to me at my front door.... walking, when he was so bedridden by and he was skin and bones. He died two weeks later.

So yes, the UK is disgusting for medical care.

Ed,
The only doctors that I would consider going to in our GP practice are on holiday this next two weeks. The other one treated my husband with no sympathy and I would think he would treat me with none either. I will await the appointment in 1.5 weeks to see the hospital doctor again. Then if I have not improved I will have a lot to say.

Thankyou for your responses.

Ann

Re: Ann

pala on 10/09/02 at 10:51 (097135)

ann, that;s awfu. it's terrible here too. i have great private insurance i pay a fortune for. when i was in the hospital last year i was treated horribly even by some nurses. don't even ask how the doctors and other staff behave. i believe that when it is my time to die now i would crawl into the woods behind my home. it is hard for me to imagine any suffering nature can dole out that is worse than these mecical monsters. ( doctors on this board who have helped me so much for free being the exception to the rule) and in fairness a couple of docs and a pt who have behaved very decently to me. but i'd give it a three to 30 ratio of decent to monsters.

Re: Ann

Ann on 10/09/02 at 11:10 (097137)

Pala,

This seems to have stemmed a discussion of it's own on the medical treatment in countries. I am glad the UK is not alone in it's 'gripes'. We have a new group formed called P.A.L.S. here, set up to be an individual complaints company, aimed at the NHS patients. But I fear not many people, including myself, want to be brought to public notice for complaining when they have lost a husband of an illness that could not be cured anyway. It is enough trying to adapt one's life afterwards. So one feels they do not want the hastle.

Thanks for responding,
Ann