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Pain after knee surgery is often misdiagnosed

On Behalf of Cronin & Maxwell

People in Florida with disorders and pain following knee treatments can sometimes deal with misdiagnoses. The use of different criteria to diagnose complex regional pain syndrome, or CRPS, means that some patients may be incorrectly diagnosed after reporting excessive and extreme pain following total knee arthroplasty. In fact, more than half of the patients so diagnosed could actually be suffering from neuropathic pain after the surgery.

Total knee arthroplasty involves replacing an injured or failing knee with prosthetic parts. Also known as total knee replacement, it is a major surgery requiring hospitalization. Sometimes, patients who undergo this surgery experience severe pain after the procedure that is diagnosed as CRPS. A recent study evaluated 100 patients who underwent total knee arthroplasty; they were examined six weeks following surgery to determine a diagnosis.

While 17 patients had excessive levels of pain and six reported sensory symptoms, none of the patients had CRPS under the most recent diagnostic guidelines for the syndrome that were released in 2007. Under earlier guidelines, eight of the patients would have been diagnosed with CRPS. However, using the newer diagnostic system, none received this diagnosis. Instead, five with unexplained pain were instead diagnosed with neuropathic pain. Misdiagnosis of CRPS instead of neuropathy can be harmful for people who have had total knee replacements. As a result of the misdiagnosis, effective treatments for pain and nerve damage will not be pursued, leaving the patient’s condition to worsen.

People who have experienced a misdiagnosis and suffered a worsened health condition as a result may be able to seek compensation. A victim could consult with a medical malpractice attorney to go over the specifics of their case and potentially pursue damages for the harms caused as a result of the error.

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