Negligent treatment of a femoral fracture suffered by a professional jockey

The patient was a professional jockey who fell from his horse. He suffered a comminuted fracture to his left femur when he was trodden on by a trailing horse. The patient attended an Accident & Emergency Department close to the racecourse. He was anxious to return to race riding at the earliest opportunity despite the nature of his injuries and had some understanding of the treatment of his condition. He specifically requested that his leg be pinned and locked rather than put in traction. He requested this because it would give him a better chance of returning to racing more quickly without potential complications.

The patient underwent an operation during which an intramedullary nail was inserted into the shaft of the femur. Rather than being pinned the leg was placed in traction.

During his rehabilitation the patient noticed that his knee became twisted outwards and after there had been union of the fracture it was clear that the patient had suffered a rotational deformity. He continued with rehabilitation and attempted to return to race riding. Significant pain accompanied this. He underwent an osteotomy to try and correct the rotational deformity some 2 years later. This was unsuccessful and he was unable to continue with his career as a jockey.

As well as involving detailed investigations in relation to the medical treatment, detailed investigations were required to prove the patient’s loss of earnings as a professional sportsman. The claim concluded with a substantial payment to the Claimant that included a significant element for loss of future earnings as a professional jockey.

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