Diagnosing and Treating Foot and Ankle Injuries

  • Posted on: Oct 19 2016
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What happens if a doctor fails to properly treat my ankle or foot pain?

If you are suffering from foot or ankle pain, it is necessary for a doctor to perform a thorough examination in order to properly diagnose and treat the injury. Initially, this may require checking for tender spots to pinpoint the location and cause of your pain. The doctor will also likely check the range of motion by having you move your foot in different directions. Of course, it is also necessary to assess your ability to walk and examine your gait. After this examination, additional tests may be needed to ensure you receive the best treatment.

Does my foot injury require imaging?

Depending on the signs and symptoms of your pain, it may also be necessary for the doctor to perform a number of imaging tests. The most basic test is an X-ray which allows a doctor to visualize most ankle and foot fractures.  Some injuries, such as stress fractures, may require a bone scan which requires injecting small amounts of radioactive material into a vein that will reveal damaged areas in the bones.

A more extensive text is a CT Scan, which are X-rays taken from various angles and them combined to make more detailed images of bone and soft tissues. A CT scan can enable a doctor to determine whether surgery or some other form of treatment is needed. Lastly, for those who are actively on their feet due to their occupation, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can reveal injuries to the ligaments and bone fractures that other imaging tests may fail to detect.

How are broken ankles and feet treated?

There are a number of ways to treat a broken ankle or foot and the factors involved include which bone(s) have been broken and how severe the injuries are. If the fracture is displaced, the pieces may need to be manipulated back into place, a procedure that is referred to as reduction. A severe fracture may require surgery and the use of pins, plates or screws to keep the bones in place while they heal. Of course, broken bones need to be immobilized with a cast or a boot so that the fracture knits back together properly.

What if my injury doesn’t heal?

This all sounds well and good, but what happens if the injury does not heal properly? In some cases, a doctor may misdiagnose an injury and fail to treat it properly. We have seen far too many incidents where doctors have performed unnecessary of multiple surgeries. A doctor who fails to provide the appropriate standard of care may found negligent. If your foot or ankle injury was not properly treated, an experienced podiatric malpractice attorney can help you obtain meaningful compensation.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice