Mr Harper had seen his GP on several occasions, complaining of bilateral calf pain and swelling, for which he had first been referred urgently to hospital to the DVT Clinic. A DVT nurse assessed him on that first occasion and a clinical examination was performed but there were no further investigations. It was noted that there was no clinical indication for DVT and a ruptured head of gastrocnemius was diagnosed. Mr Harper was prescribed non-steroidal anti- inflammatory medication and given a support bandage. Within a few weeks of his attendance at the DVT Clinic, the pain and swelling in Mr Harper’s right calf resolved.
Three months later, Mr Harper went to see his GP complaining of a tingling sensation in his left toes. He was reassured and advised that the problem would probably resolve spontaneously. The tingling did resolve spontaneously as predicted. However, the pain and swelling in his right calf recurred a few months later and he went to see his GP again. Mr Harper was advised that it was likely to be a torn muscle and was once again prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication and told to use a support bandage.
The following summer, Mr Harper experienced the sudden onset of severe pain again and swelling in his right calf and so went to A&E. He was admitted and, following various investigations, including Doppler, duplex and ultrasound scans, Mr Harper was diagnosed as suffering from bilateral popliteal aneurysms. He was advised that his right leg was unsalvageable and an above-the-knee amputation was performed.