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How could a misdiagnosis lead to a long-term disability?

Whether it is due to a sport, a car accident, a slip-and-fall or work accident, injuries to the foot and ankle are fairly common in a falling or collision incident. While medical professionals are educated and trained to diagnose and treat these injuries, some of the subtleties of these injuries make it difficult to identify all points of injury. This unfortunately leads to a misdiagnosis or mistreatment, causing a patient to continue to endure pain and suffering.

How can a misdiagnosis lead to a long-term disability? When orthopedic surgeons or physicians misdiagnose a foot or ankle injury, this often results in long-term issues for patients. This often includes arthritis and disability. More than 3 million emergency room visits in the U.S. every year are related to common foot and ankle injuries.

However, in order to ensure that a patient is properly diagnosed, this means taking additional steps. Obtaining additional imaging or seeking a second opinion could either confirm the initial diagnosis or pinpoint what was missed. Those suffering from long-term disability from a foot or ankle injury are not just athletes. Such an injury could occur to anyone, causing many patients to face potential long-term problems if a misdiagnosis occurs.

Most orthopedic physicians view a foot or ankle injury as needing acute and preventative care. This is because a mismanaged foot or ankle injury could lead to so many future problems for the patients. While a patient might have recourses for the medical errors that harmed them, they also have the right to seek Social Security disability. SSD benefits could help them obtain needed resources while the patient is unable to work because of their disability.

Source:, "Misdiagnosed foot, ankle injuries may result in arthritis, chronic pain and disability," accessed April 6, 2017.

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