"Partial ACL tear missed by A&E "

About: Southampton General Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

It’s a long story so I apologise:

I had injured my knee during a rugby match t the end of October so I was taken to Southampton General Hospital A&E after the match. After seeing triage I was told I could ask for stronger painkillers if needed. Half an hour into waiting I was in pain, husband asked for painkillers we were told to wait 5mins...it took my husband another 2 times to get painkillers taking them about 1hrs to eventually give painkillers. After waiting 3 and half hrs whilst watching others who came in after me and left we were seen to. Had an x-ray but I was expected to make own way when I couldn’t walk, husband asked where there was a wheelchair. A nurse replied I don’t know and good luck trying to find one they are like gold dust here", dr looked at it said must have dislocated knee which is popped back & again I was expected to walk out when I couldn’t. A nurse stopped the doctor and quizzed him about the x-ray which stated effusion seen in joint, the dr said he couldn’t see any fluid. the nurse said "oh so the x-ray is wrong then", his reply "well if it is there it doesn’t matter" she reminded the dr of the procedure and that I would need crutches. The nurse then put me through for physio but recommended going via occu health as it would be quicker. Upon reading the sick note the nurses had asked the dr to do he has put knee sprain!

After 3 months of physiotherapy ....the physio finally decided I needed to be referred (something I kept saying), I was reviewed and put on emergency list for keyhole rather than mri as had been messed about for so long. Turns out I had damaged my LCL ligament and torn part of my PL bundle of the ACL with a locked knee for 3 whole months (not to mention the partial dislocated of right shoulder that occurred in theatre & wasn’t discovered until day after despite continuously telling the night staff of pain), nor was I happy when I was told I would be in hospital until the knee bends 120degrees to then be released with it bending 90degrees and was told by a nurse that it was costing them £500 to keep me in per night. A month and a half on from the op I'm only just now managing to bend the knee 120degrees after intensive hydrotherapy & physiotherapy. In total it has cost me 9wks off sick as I was signed off for 2wks before the op due to massive swelling. I’ve had this injury now for nearly 5months with another outpatient review in 3mnths with a chance it may need a reconstruction later on down the road.

If this had been diagnosed correctly in the first place I think the NHS would have saved themselves a lot of money as 1) me as a patient and 2) as staff. I'm now considering getting private health to avoid the plunder in future. It also turns out I'm am not the only person to experience the increasing poor treatment and mis-diagnosis of A&E

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››