When Systemic Disease Is Misdiagnosed as a Foot Problem

We all know that pain can be “referred,” that is, felt in a different location from the one in which it originated. For example, many people experience leg pain caused by nerve compression in the spine. When patients have foot pain, they go to their podiatrists, even if, unbeknownst to them, the pain originates elsewhere. They have confidence that their podiatrist has the knowledge to uncover the source of their pain and send them to another doctor if necessary. But what if their podiatrist continues to treat their foot mistakenly while the underlying disease progresses?

If you have had this unfortunate experience and suffered negative consequences, you may well be a victim of podiatric malpractice. If so, the excellent legal team at Dental & Podiatry Malpractice Lawyers of New York is the place to contact. 

For over four decades, Lawrence M. Karam, PC has specialized in cases like yours, in which a podiatrist’s negligence has had adverse, even dire, consequences for the patient. And for over three decades, Lawrence has established an impressive record of successful litigation, helping his clients win substantial damages for their medical costs, loss of income, and pain and suffering.

As a patient without medical training, you are focused on your pain and come to the podiatrist to alleviate it. As with other healthcare matters, you likely put your trust in the doctor’s expertise, ready to follow his/her directions to bring your misery to an end. Sometimes, however, due to ignorance, carelessness, or lack of attention, the podiatrist steers you wrong, prescribing incorrect treatments due to making an incorrect diagnosis. 

In such cases, when your foot pain is just a symptom of a systemic disease, the wrong treatment will not cure you; if fact, it may put you through an unnecessary regimen of therapy and medication, or even through unneeded surgery, all the time allowing your condition to worsen.

How Our Superior Podiatry Malpractice Lawyer Can Help

When you have suffered a personal injury due to podiatric malpractice, you’re no doubt overwhelmed by emotional trauma as well as physical pain. This is the time that a sharp attorney can make all the difference by taking over complex legal and insurance matters, filing necessary papers, examining medical records in-depth, and consulting with experts in related medical fields who may be able to testify in court on your behalf. Because we realize that you may also be under financial stress, we will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we recover damages for you.

Systemic Diseases that Can Cause Foot Symptoms

Many systemic diseases can cause foot symptoms. Any of the following can cause severe foot and leg pain, at times making walking unbearable:

  • Diabetes, an imbalance of blood sugar due to the body’s inability to produce insulin, may lead to damaged nerves that cause numbness in the feet. It may also cause peripheral vascular disease which restricts blood flow to the feet and can lead to amputation.
  • Peripheral Artery Disease, due to heart disease or stroke, may restrict blood flow to the feet, causing pain, coldness, poor nail growth, or, if severe enough, gangrene.
  • Lupus, an inflammatory disease in which the immune system attacks its own tissues, affects just about every part of the body. It can lead to severe pain in the joints of the feet and ankles and cause muscle weakness in the legs and feet.
  • Gout, caused by an excessive buildup of uric acid in the body, commonly results in pain, inflammation, and redness in the joint at the base of the big toe where excess uric acid crystals are deposited on tendons, joints, and surrounding bone and muscle tissue.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and some other autoimmune disorders, can cause pain, burning and swelling of one or more foot joints, and may lead to joint instability, difficulty walking, and eventual foot deformity.
  • Osteoarthritis, usually due to the wear and tear of aging, may also occur prematurely as the result of an injury, may cause pain and stiffness of the foot or ankle, and difficulty walking.
  • Neurological disorders may result from hereditary conditions, chemotherapy, inflammatory infections, exposure to toxic chemicals or certain medications, poor nutrition, kidney failure, or chronic alcoholism. Any of these may cause loss of sensation in the foot and decreased muscle response. 
  • Cancer patients always have the best chance of full recovery when the malignancy is caught at its earliest stage. Therefore, misdiagnosing, or failing to investigate, a possibly cancerous skin lesion or tumor on the foot or ankle can be very dangerous.

When Your Podiatrist’s Mistake Become Malpractice

Clearly, we all make mistakes and being in error is not always evidence of malpractice. However, if you feel that your podiatrist misdiagnosed your foot problem as a localized problem rather than being alert to the fact that it was a sign of systemic disease, you should contact our sharp podiatry malpractice attorney immediately. We will evaluate your case at no charge and, if required, pursue aggressive litigation to get you the compensation you deserve.

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.