Oregon patients who are recovering from foot or ankle injuries may be interested to learn that physicians are being advised to opt for additional imaging or second opinions when diagnosing common injuries to these areas. Research showed that when these common areas were misdiagnosed, patients were potentially at risk for poor outcomes that included disability or arthritis.
Approximately 3 million emergency room visits a year are caused by six common ankle and foot injuries. When these types of injuries occur, the symptoms are often vague and can be difficult to detect. If an injury to the ankle or foot is left untreated, the patient is potentially at risk for developing arthritis, tendinitis and recurring injuries later in life. This is because, without a proper diagnosis, many individuals are not provided with the proper treatment or care that they need to fully recover.
If a diagnosis is not clear, physicians are highly recommended to get a second opinion or opt for more imaging. Many foot and ankle injuries can be resolved simply through immobilization, ice and rest or even medication. In some cases, however, a person may need surgical prevention to prevent problems later in life.
If a misdiagnosis causes a worsened condition, a medical malpractice attorney may assist with filing a lawsuit against the physician who misdiagnosed the person and the facility where the misdiagnosis occurred. The attorney may use expert witness testimony, medical records and other forms of evidence to prove that the physician was negligent. For example, if a person is suffering long-term complications following an ankle or foot injury, the attorney may provide evidence that the physician did not order additional imaging if the first set of images were not clear or that they did not provide options for proper treatment.