Saturday, 11 June 2011

The Death of David Kelly - Articles on elbow fractures and their longterm outcome

It is now established that David Kelly fractured his elbow in December 1991.

Broadly, there are two types of elbow fracture - those of the distal (lower) end of the humerus (the bone in the upper arm) and those of the bones of the lower arm (typically of the olecranon process of the ulna).

Interested readers may find these two links on the web site of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to be informative reading: Elbow (Olecranon) Fractures and Distal Humerus Fractures.

In his report, on page 8 Dr. Shepherd refers to the physiotherapy report from April 1992 (TVP/10/0134), "The note records that there was full flexion of the elbow but that extension of the elbow was reduced by 15 [degrees].".

With regard to both olecranon process fractures and distal humeral fracture it is common that there is some less of extension (i.e. the arm cannot be fully straightened).

Each type of fracture is commonly associated with the later development of arthritis. For example, in the olecranon fracture article we read,

Elbow arthritis causes the elbow joint to become stiff and painful. It is an unfortunate, but relatively common, long-term outcome of olecranon fractures. Elbow arthritis can occur rapidly following an olecranon fracture, or it may take years to develop.

I'll return in a subsequent post to the inadequacy of Dr. Shepherd's report in its treatment of that aspect of the situation.


  1. Andrew,

    It's the same old story. You produce a witness who is a Professor, and then in the eyes of the Establishment they can do no wrong. It was absurd of Shepherd to make any assessment of Dr Kelly's elbow injury. By definition the problem Dr Kelly had could only be observed contemporaneously. Mai Pederson had nothing to gain by inventing the story of a weakened elbow, and she could only have known about the accident, which is now an indisputable fact,from Dr Kelly, and about the effects from observation.

    On this matter Shepherd was talking out of the back of his neck.

  2. Geoaunnes,

    You're right.

    Dr. Shepherd, in my view, went way beyond what he could legitimately say as an "expert".

  3. Andrew/Geoaunnes

    Dr Shepherd also fancies himself as a SOCO detective or perhaps a geologist:
    "examination of the scene photographs following removal of the body does not show any drag or sliding marks on the ground. These marks would have occurred on the soft earth had the body been moved...."

    I think Dr Shepherd is straying well away from his speciality there.

  4. Felix,

    Dr. Shepherd may also be overlooking the likelihood that Oxford Clay in December 2010 (when he visited Harrowdown Hill) is very different from the much drier clay of summertime 2003.

  5. Andrew/Felix,
    Straying well away from his speciality was precisely what Professor Hawton did. He told Hutton (naturally enough,in response to the latter's invitation) that the knife of which he had been shown a photo was the knife which Dr Kelly used to keep in a drawer in his study desk. How the hell could he know any such thing?
    He also had a "conjecture" that Dr Kelly was beginning to fear he would lose his job. How the hell can he give such evidence when all the MOD people and the two from Porton Down said not a word about Dr Kelly losing his job? What he could have told Hutton, and naturally enough he did not, was how many males of 59 top themselves every year when "they think" they're about to lose their job.