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In November I was kicked by a horse and it completely shattered my right elbow. The open wound was exposed to all sorts of farmyard debris for a few hours before I was eventually airlifted to hospital. I was originally sent to Minors, but then an orthopaedic surgeon saw me and rushed me straight to theatre where I was in surgery for 3 hours. The consultant managed to "piece" all the bits of bone together using a tension band. I was in hospital for one night and placed on an antibiotic IV. I was then discharged with one week's worth of oral antibiotics. I was told at this time that I would be able to straighten my arm but maybe not 100%. Two weeks later, the elbow was so inflamed and hot, that I was admitted to hospital for a week and placed on IV antibiotics, and I also underwent two "wash out" operations, where more debris was removed from the wound. Again, I was discharged but with NO antibiotics. Two days later and the wound is severely inflamed yet again and I had to go back to my consultant for a 4 week course of oral antibiotics. During this time I have been having physio but the elbow is locked and absolutely refuses to move past a 90 degree angle. Then, last week, the wound become inflamed and sore yet again, and I was admitted to hospital where I underwent surgery to remove the tension band, as my consultant felt this was preventing the infection from healing. I feel that if the consultant had cleaned the wound out sufficiently when I had the accident, then it would not have become infected. Also, I am now being told that I may never be able to straighten my arm. This means no horse riding, no driving, no yoga (which I was going to teach etc). I cannot get myself dressed as I cannot raise my right arm, and I cannot do other self care things for myself. My questions are (a) do I have a case for medical negligence regarding the infection and (b) is there a procedure whereby I can straighten my arm? Many thanks and sorry this is so long winded! (PS, I have now been diagnosed with septic arthritis of the elbow),Lisa
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