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A woman who can't walk properly ten months after spraining her ankle will not have her medical expenses covered by ACC because it says her tear was caused by degeneration.
Billijean Taylor is considering legal action after ACC refused her claim to treat a tear in her Achilles heel tendon and then failed to turn up to a Disputes Tribunal hearing.
The mother of two is still in pain and cannot walk properly after she jumped off her back patio, landed on an uneven pebble surface and sprained her ankle.
ACC says the tear is due to degeneration and refuses to pay for her medical treatment, but the active 40-year-old has never had problems with her legs or feet, a fact backed up by medical records and the opinion of her orthopaedic surgeon and physiotherapist.
"I work fulltime and certainly pay my share of ACC levies - it really makes me wonder why. If they are going to decline everyone over 40 years maybe we shouldn't have to pay ACC premiums."
When Mrs Taylor first sought medical treatment - four weeks after the accident - she was told she was suffering from Achilles tendinitis, a condition caused by overuse of a tendon rather than an accident.
Mrs Taylor said the doctor that first diagnosed her did not perform a physical exam or a scan and the diagnosis has since been proved wrong by other medical professionals.
"He has since apologised profusely," Mrs Taylor said.
Mrs Taylor then sought the opinion of orthopaedic surgeon Dr Peter Black who has identified her condition in a letter to the clinic where she was originally diagnosed as an "intra-substance tear", the result of a post-traumatic event as opposed to an event which has occurred as a consequence of tendinopathy.
Mrs Taylor said dealing with ACC had been a nightmare - she was told to claim the injury on her private medical insurance.
"Why should my premiums go up for what has happened as a result of an accident?"
Mrs Taylor took ACC to the Disputes Tribunal in October but its representative failed to turn up and the case was not resolved.
She said the only option left was to take her case to the District Court in Hamilton. "I'm not sure I want to pay for a lawyer when ACC will play their bullying tactics in the courtroom."