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Patient brought medical malpractice action against orthopedic physician arising out of latter's treatment of former for ankle injury.

Plaintiff injured his left ankle sliding into second base while playing softball. He was treated at the Jacksonville Memorial Hospital emergency room where X-rays were taken. The next day he took the hospital X-rays with him to the doctor, an orthopedic surgeon. The doctor interpreted the X-rays to reveal an old fracture, but no acute or fresh break. He treated the ankle initially with a compression wrap to control the swelling and then placed the ankle in a non-weight bearing case. The doctor diagnosed Plaintiff's injury as a ligamentous sprain and treated him. The doctor took no additional X-rays, relying on those obtained at the emergency room. From the outset and during the doctor's treatment periods, Plaintiff continued to experience pain and swelling. After a short walking leg cast was applied, Plaintiff was advised to begin walking with support of the cast.

During the course of treatment Plaintiff continued to express concern about the pain, discomfort, swelling and general appearance and deformity of his left ankle and foot. Eventually, because of his concern over the continued pain, swelling and deformity of his ankle and his inability to bear much weight upon the left ankle, Plaintiff sought opinions from other orthopedic surgeons in Jacksonville. After taking additional X-rays and tomograms, one of the subsequent orthopedists concluded that the original doctor had misdiagnosed the injury. A triple arthodesis fusing the three surfaces of the talonavicular joint in Plaintiff's left ankle to stabilize the joint, alleviate the pain and permit some use of his left foot. After the surgery Plaintiff experiences a deformity and lack of motion which was rated as a 30% medical impairment to the left lower extremity.

The jury returned a verdict for Plaintiff and judgment followed. The court entered its final judgment in accordance with the verdict of $145,000.

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