When you go to the doctor in Massachusetts with symptoms of arthritis, such as joint pain and stiffness, you may expect to receive a correct, precise diagnosis. After all, different forms of arthritis have different causes, and different types of treatment are necessary for successful progress. However, many people continue to suffer for months or even years after seeking help due to the common misdiagnosis of certain types of autoimmune disorders such as psoriatic arthritis.
Arthritis may be linked to other diagnoses
Psoriatic arthritis has a connection to the skin disorder psoriasis, which causes flares that may be painful and itchy. Still, many people — and their doctors — do not think about psoriatic arthritis, even when people with psoriasis begin to develop joint pain, swelling and stiffness in the body. One study found that around 15% of patients with psoriasis had psoriatic arthritis that had gone undiagnosed, even though they were already receiving treatment from a doctor for their skin condition. When it comes to psoriatic arthritis, as many as 96% of patients are initially misdiagnosed.
Misdiagnosis can be costly
When psoriatic arthritis is diagnosed too late, the joint damage caused by the disease can be irreversible. There are several problems that can develop because of misdiagnosis. In some cases, people may not receive the necessary treatment and, as a result, their progressive condition may develop further. In other cases, people may receive incorrect medications for another illness, leading to serious side effects.
Physicians, like all professionals, may make mistakes. Sometimes, however, misdiagnosis is not a simple error but the effect of a doctor’s carelessness or negligence in properly testing or following up on a patient’s concerns, and this could be medical malpractice. If you have suffered a worsened medical condition due to a doctor’s actions, a medical malpractice attorney may review your case for the potential to seek compensation.