If an avulsion fracture has set you back, we'll help you move forward
If your life, or the life of a loved one, has been affected by an avulsion fracture injury, we can help.
If your injuries were caused by someone else's actions or negligence, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
You can make an avulsion fracture compensation claim with the help and support of a personal injury solicitor.
In this article
An avulsion fracture differs from a traditional fracture, in that it occurs when a fragment of bone tears away from the main mass of bone, usually where a tendon or ligament attaches to the bone.
A result of physical trauma, avulsion fractures generally take less time to heal than a traditional fracture, but may sometimes be problematic as precise surgery may be required to reattach the area which has split off to the main bone.
In some situations - where the injury is the result of a light impact - an avulsion fracture may be missed or misdiagnosed. As a result, the injury may not be properly treated and this may have a serious impact on the injured person's recovery and health in the longer term.
Common avulsion fractures
Most avulsion fractures occur in the lower , in areas such as the pelvis, knee and ankle where major muscles attach to the joints.
Other common areas include head of the 5th metatarsal (the long bone that attaches to the little toe), the navicular bone on the inside of the foot, and the ischial tuberosity or ‘sitting bone' where the hamstring tendon originates.
Typical causes of avulsion fracture
Avulsion fractures are caused by a forceful overstretching of ligaments, which tears a small piece of bone away from the bone to which the ligament is attached.
They may happen in a number of different situations. For example, a slip or trip that would typically cause an ankle injury could also cause an avulsion fracture.
Other causes include impacts sustained from falling from a height; motor vehicle and other accidents - in the workplace or on public or private property.
Children may be particularly susceptible to avulsion fractures when accidents cause the tendons or ligaments attached to the growth plate to pull hard enough to cause the actively growing bone to fracture.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Anyone suspecting they may have sustained an avulsion fracture should seek medical attention.
Although avulsion fractures are generally treated in the same way as other soft tissue injury - with rest, ice and compression - an X-ray may be necessary to determine how far the bone fragment has been pulled away from the injury site.
If the bone has been pulled some distance, surgery may be required to repair the damage.
Do I have an avulsion fracture claim?
As a basic rule, you will be eligible to make an injury claim if you were injured:
- within the last 3 years, and;
- another person was to blame, and;
- that person owed you a duty of care.
Find out online if you can claim with our injury claim calculator. Alternatively, you can speak to a claims advisor on 0800 376 1001 and find out if you have a claim in minutes.
Can I make a claim even if I'm partly liable?
Pinpointing liability for an accident will depend on the context, with different legal principles applying to different circumstances.
In our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey, 13.99% of respondents felt they were at least partly responsible for their accident or injuries.
Even if you were partly at fault, you could still be able to claim compensation. 'Split liability' or 'contributory negligence' are terms used to describe these cases.
How long after an avulsion fracture do I have to start a claim?
In most cases, you have 3 years from the date of your accident or injury.
If you were injured when you were under 18, a parent, guardian or adult 'litigation friend' can make a claim on your behalf. Once you turn 18, you have until your 21st birthday to start an injury claim.
How much compensation can I claim for an avulsion fracture?
The amount of money you could claim for an avulsion fracture injury will depend on:
- the severity of your injury, and
- any financial losses or costs you have incurred.
At the start of your claim, your solicitor will consider the many ways your injuries have affected your life. Your solicitor will take these considerations into account to calculate the correct compensation award.
Get an accurate compensation estimate (including for multiple injuries), confirm your legal position, and check if you have a No Win, No Fee claim.
Updated December 2023
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General damages are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity (PSLA).
Awards for general damages are set by the Judicial College and published in their guidelines for personal injury awards.
If it can be proved that your injury left you unable to work, special damages can be awarded for any lost earnings, loss of commission or bonuses, and loss of pension contributions. It may also be possible to claim for loss of future earnings, if the medical prognosis establishes that you won't be able to work for any period in the future.
These damages will also cover the cost of any medical procedures you might need to treat or recover from your avulsion fracture such as pain relief, surgical fixation and physical therapy.
How compensation can help
As avulsion fractures cause pain, a claimant may find difficulty in completing a number of daily tasks, including working and other activities.
If the fracture was the result of an accident that was someone else's fault a claimant may be entitled to make a personal injury claim for special and general damages.
The compensation should cover the cost of loss of earnings, medical treatment and travel as well as an award for pain and suffering endured.
Clinical negligence following an avulsion fracture
In some cases, the avulsion fracture may have been caused by an accident where negligence has not occurred, and a claim cannot be made for the accident itself. Examples included overstretching during a workout, or an unforeseen accident in the home.
If the resulting fracture is missed following an medical examination, however, and the injured person experiences additional pain or suffering as a result, or their recovery is unnecessarily prolonged, it may be possible to make a clinical negligence claim against the medical professional responsible for the misdiagnosis.
In such cases, your solicitor will arrange for a medical examination to confirm the extent of the harm inflicted as a result of this negligence.
Average avulsion fracture general damages compensation
The following avulsion fracture payouts refer to the Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases, Sixteenth Edition by the Judicial College.These tables are used by solicitors or by the courts as a starting point when calculating your compensation.
Please note: these average figures represent general damages only, and do not include any element of special damages (e.g. lost wages).
|Arm injury||Less serious||Fractured forearm||£6,010 to £17,450|
|Chest injury||Minor||Fractured ribs or muscle injury to the rib cage and chest||Up to £3,590|
|Finger injury||Moderate||Fracture of one finger||Up to £4,320|
|Finger injury||Serious||Partial loss of index finger||£11,060 to £17,040|
|Leg injury||Less Serious||Simple tibia or fibula fracture||Up to £10,760|
|Leg injury||Serious||Leg fracture with partial recovery||£23,810 to £39,510|
|Pelvis and hip injury|
|Pelvis and hip injury||Severe||Extensive fractures||£71,270 to £119,030|
|Pelvis and hip injury||Serious||Less extensive fractures||£56,270 to £71,280|
|Wrist injury||Minor||Wrist fracture recovering within one year||£3,210 to £4,310|
|Wrist injury||Moderate||Colles wrist fracture||Around £6,750|
Claiming compensation for psychological injuries
Psychiatric harm is less obvious than physical injury, but the consequences can be just as difficult to deal with.
According to our 2023 Personal Injury Claimant Survey shows that 29.03% of potential claimants sustained a psychological injury, 70.97% of which related to a physical injury.
Avulsion fractures can lead to phobia of engaging in activities that caused the injury, affecting lifestyle choices.
Compensation for psychological harm can help you access mental health support and therapies not always available through the NHS.
Our compensation calculator can estimate your compensation for psychological injuries. Or you can call us on 0800 376 1001 to speak to a specialist advisor.
How did your injury happen?
Claiming compensation for an avulsion fracture is dependent on how your injury occurred. Click the icons below for more detail:
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Your solicitor will fight for the best possible compensation settlement for you, and the highly-experienced panel of solicitors have an excellent track record of winning injury claims.
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About the author
Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.