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Knee surgery patients can be harmed by pain misdiagnosis

People in Illinois who have gone through major knee surgery may have to deal with more than just pain and a complicated recovery. These patients could also face misdiagnoses following unexplained after-surgery pain. The use of older criteria to diagnose complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) has led to some knee replacement patients receiving incorrect diagnoses. The issue was recently addressed in a study published in the “Journal of Knee Surgery.”

Total knee arthroplasty involves the replacement of an injured, failing knee joint with prosthetic parts. This major surgery requires hospitalization and a significant recovery period. While any full knee replacement is painful, some patients report severe, unexplained pain without a clear cause following the operation.

The study looked at 100 patients who had recently undergone total knee replacement surgery, examining them six weeks following the procedure. Of the participants, 17 patients had excessive levels of pain and six had disturbing sensory syndromes. Under older guidelines, eight of these patients would have been diagnosed with CRPS.

Using the most recent 2007 guidelines for diagnosis, however, none of the patients received a CRPS diagnosis. Instead, five of the eight people with unexplained pain were found to actually suffer from neuropathic pain, indicating injury to the nerves in the area. Misdiagnosis can be painful as it could prevent patients from receiving effective treatments.

An individual who has experienced a medical misdiagnosis may be able to pursue compensation for the damages suffered as a result. A medical malpractice lawyer can provide a consultation to review the patient’s unique circumstances. Legal counsel could then seek recompense for the harms caused as a result of the failure to diagnose or properly treat an illness or injury.