Dangers of Gout Misdiagnosis

If you have suffered serious consequences because your podiatrist misdiagnosed gout, you may be a victim of podiatric malpractice. If you have suffered personal harm — physically, financially– from this misdiagnosis, in addition to seeking excellent ongoing medical care, you need the services of a highly competent podiatric malpractice attorney. Although gout misdiagnoses are quite common, if yours has led to unnecessary surgery or other drastic complications, you are legally entitled to full compensation.

What an Experienced Podiatric Malpractice Attorney Can Win for You in Damages

Once you find a medical malpractice attorney who specializes and has a track record of success in podiatric malpractice, she/he may be able, through sharp negotiation or litigation, to recoup: your medical, rehabilitative expenses and lost income, and to win you the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis that typically occurs suddenly and presents with severe pain in the big toe and sometimes the ankle. The immediate cause of gout is a buildup of uric acid in the body; urate crystals invade the foot tendons precipitating excruciating pain. While the underlying causes of gout have not been pinned down, it is believed that the following factors may contribute to an outbreak:

  • Heredity
  • Diet (e.g. shellfish, red meats, organ meats)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Infection
  • Stress

It is important to be aware, however, that change of diet alone will not cure the disease.
While gout has sometimes been mocked as an ailment of the rich, royal, and overindulged, the fact is that gout is no laughing matter. Although it manifests in toe, foot and ankle pain, gout also impacts your heart, lungs and kidneys. It is crucial to see a knowledgeable medical professional who fully understands the risk gout presents to your overall health. In most cases, the initial pain is likely to subside within a couple of weeks, but further treatment is almost always necessary.

Frequent Mistaken Diagnoses of Gout Are Due to Medical Negligence

You might be surprised to find out that podiatrists often simply assume that severe foot pain, especially pain in the big toe, is attributable to gout. If this has happened to you, your podiatrist has been negligent. The only way to definitively diagnose gout is to have blood extracted from the affected joint and measure the quantity of uric acid in it. Otherwise, your doctor is just guessing. Without the blood test, you might just as likely be suffering from an inflamed bunion or ill-fitting shoes.

What are the dangers of a misdiagnosis of gout?

As noted, if your doctor does not zero in on gout as the reason for your pain, a threat to your general health is remaining untreated. On the other hand, if your podiatrist misdiagnoses another disorder as gout, you may suffer deterioration resulting from another, as yet unnamed illness. The following conditions may be mistaken for gout and can worsen without treatment:

  • Pseudogout, in which calcium, not uric acid, forms deposits in the joints
  • Reactive arthritis, a reaction to an infection elsewhere, usually in the
    gastrointestinal or genitourinary tract
  • Psoriatic arthritis, which occurs in 4 to 6 percent of people with skin psoriasis
  • Infectious arthritis, resulting from infection within the joint itself
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis

As you can see, a misdiagnosis of gout can be a serious matter. If your podiatrist has misdiagnosed gout or some other illness, or is guilty of any other type of podiatric misconduct, you may deserve substantial compensation. Why not take the time for a free consultation with a well-respected podiatric malpractice attorney to find out?

About the Author
Of all the different areas in medical malpractice, it is podiatry malpractice that has had a particular interest to me. With 42 years practicing law and representing hundreds of victims of malpractice, I have created a law practice in which my clients are comfortable knowing that their case is being handled with my personal attention, in the most professional manner, and without unreasonable delays.