While everyone makes mistakes, when doctors and dentists make serious mistakes as a result of inattention or negligence, or (heaven forbid) perform unnecessary surgery out of simple greed, the cost in physical pain, mental anguish, and financial loss to their patients is tremendous. Podiatrists, who specialize in diagnosis and treatment of the foot and ankle, seem to be especially prone to having dissatisfied patients. It is relatively common to hear about foot conditions being misdiagnosed, infections of the foot becoming worse during treatment, and foot surgeries going wrong. Because we depend so much on our feet to live a full life, malpractice that results in permanent injury to the feet can be completely disabling.
Perhaps because many consider podiatrists to be practitioners rather than full-fledged doctors (though they are defined as physicians by the federal government and require a great deal of medical and surgical training), patients seem not to realize that podiatrists, like all doctors, can be sued for malpractice. If you or a loved one has experienced the misery of foot pain made worse by podiatric treatment or surgery, you have every right to explore your legal options with a highly qualified podiatry malpractice attorney.
You Have a Right to Know If You Are a Victim of Podiatry Malpractice
Though not all mistakes will result in successful podiatry malpractice claims, some undoubtedly will. Why not explore the viability of your case with a trustworthy professional? Because podiatry malpractice attorneys will only charge you attorneys’ fees if they win you compensation, you have nothing to lose by consulting, since a malpractice attorney will not take your case unless he or she is convinced it has merit.
Standards of Podiatry Malpractice
To prove a malpractice claim, your attorney has to prove that your podiatrist failed to live up to generally accepted medical standards of care. In other words, the fact that a surgical procedure did not help you feel more comfortable does not necessarily mean there was malpractice involved; but in many situations when surgery makes you worse it is the result of malpractice.
Because the feet have a great many bones, surgical procedures on the lower extremities can be very challenging. Still, podiatrists who  have a comprehensive knowledge of their specialty  take the time to diagnose properly and  are fully alert to unexpected occurrences will likely provide podiatry services by accepted medical standards. Those who rush to judgment, recommend operations before giving more conservative methods a chance, or don’t properly prepare their patients for the risks involved, are far more likely to be accused, and possibly found liable for malpractice.
Common Types of Podiatry Malpractice
These are some of the common areas of podiatry malpractice:
- Failure to diagnose your ailment correctly and promptly
- Failure to treat an infection before it goes into the bone and/or becomes systemic
- Failure to diagnose and treat nerve injuries
- Failure to perform surgery according to medical standards
- Failure to treat bone spurs or heel pain correctly
- Failure to take a full medical history and to treat you accordingly (e.g. if you are diabetic)
- Failure to provide you with adequate follow-up care after treatment
- Failure to refer you to another type of specialist (e.g. dermatologist or orthopedist)
- Administration of unnecessary treatment or performance of unnecessary surgery
If your podiatrist has subjected you to one of the above or to some other type of treatment you consider to be beyond the pale, it is time to call on a podiatry malpractice attorney who is well-schooled in this area of the law and will work hard to get you the substantial compensation you deserve.