Ingrown toenails, though known to be quite painful, are normally regarded as minor ailments. Under certain circumstances, however, they can turn into matters of serious medical concern. If your podiatrist’s mishandling of your ingrown toenail causes your condition to worsen, he or she may be guilty of podiatry malpractice and may be held legally liable for your medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering.
If you find yourself victimized by a negligent podiatrist, you should contact Dental & Podiatry Malpractice Lawyers of New York. We have in-depth knowledge and skill to guide you through the legal process. We also have an impressive history of successful negotiated settlements and courtroom verdicts.
What is an ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails sound almost as terrible as they feel. They occur when the sharp edges of the nail, instead of growing normally, digs into the soft surrounding tissue, causing intense pain, and, all too frequently, infection.
What causes ingrown toenails?
Unfortunately, a number of things can predispose a person to develop an ingrown toenail, including:
- Cutting toenails too short or at a slant
- Toenails thickened by old age or malformation
- Inherited tendency to curved toenails
- Shoes and socks that are too tight and crowd the toenails
- Toenail injury (e.g. from sports that involve kicking or from a stubbed toe)
- Wet or sweaty feet that result in fungal infections
What are the symptoms of ingrown toenails? What are typical home treatments?
In addition to being painful, Ingrown toenails are red and swollen. Home remedies — soaking the foot in warm water several times a day to relieve pain and inflammation, easing a piece of cotton ball under the nail to encourage nail growth in the proper direction, and applying antibiotic ointment to prevent infection — may resolve the problem, but often patients have to seek the help of a podiatrist.
When Trouble Follows a Visit to the Podiatrist
In most cases, a competent podiatrist can provide relief and healing by removing part or all of the affected toenail and administering antibiotics. A negligent foot specialist, however, may make one or more of the following errors, leading to increased patient distress and/or severe complications:
- Fail to take a complete medical history
- Misdiagnose the problem
- Fail to recognize signs of worsening infection
- Fail to notice signs of another disease condition (e.g. foot cancer)
- Fail to use properly sterilized instruments
- Fail to pay attention to the patient’s underlying conditions (e.g. diabetes)
- Fail to take note of patient allergies to medication, latex, or numbing agents
Any of the above may lead to serious difficulties for the patient and may be grounds for a podiatry malpractice lawsuit. On the other hand, though you may have been made unnecessarily uncomfortable, your case may not measure up to the legal standard of negligence. The only way you will know for sure whether you have a viable case is to consult with our first-rate podiatry malpractice attorney: Lawrence M. Karam, PC.
Ingrown Toenail Complications that May Be Your Podiatrist’s Fault
If you have reached out to your podiatrist early on, but due to lack of attention or failure to take note of your unique circumstances, he or she has caused you long-term consequences, our podiatry malpractice attorney may be able to win you the compensation you deserve. Below are some of the more serious results of podiatry negligence you may have suffered:
- Bone Infection
- Foot ulcers
- Restricted circulation to the affected area that may cause tissue death/nerve damage/gangrene
- Bacterial or fungal infection at the site of the ingrown toenail (e.g. MRSA, a drug-resistant staph infection)
The most serious of these complications may require intravenous antibiotics, hospitalization, and even surgery.
Contact Dental & Podiatry Malpractice Lawyers of New York
We will listen carefully to your story to determine whether we think you have a winnable case against your podiatrist. If we do, we will fight aggressively to protect your rights and do everything we can to make sure you receive justice.