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Failure To Diagnose and Treat Osteoarthritis

Baltimore Lawyers Helping People Injured by Incompetent Medical Care

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that causes pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. Appropriate treatment can provide many people with osteoarthritis relief from their symptoms. If a doctor neglects to accurately diagnose osteoarthritis, though, it can have significant long-term consequences on their health and well-being. In many instances, the failure to diagnose and treat osteoarthritis is the result of carelessness, and doctors that neglect to provide patients with competent care should be held accountable for the harm caused by their negligence. If you sustained harm because of a doctor’s failure to diagnose and treat osteoarthritis, you should speak to a lawyer about your potential claims. The Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group possess the skills and resources needed to prove the liability of healthcare providers, and if you engage our services, we will aggressively advocate on your behalf.

Diagnosing and Treating Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that occurs when the cartilage protecting the ends of bones wears down over time. It typically affects the knees, spine, hips, and other weight-bearing joints, as well as the hands. People with osteoarthritis generally report joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.

If a patient presents with symptoms of osteoarthritis, a doctor will usually perform a clinical evaluation, obtain the patient’s medical history, and order imaging studies to rule out other possible causes of joint pain. Once a patient is diagnosed with osteoarthritis, their treatment will most likely aim to manage their symptoms, reduce their pain, and improve joint function. This may involve a combination of nonpharmacological approaches such as exercise, physical therapy, weight management, and assistive devices, as well as medications like acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and in some cases, joint injections with corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid.

Without proper diagnosis and treatment, osteoarthritis can progress and worsen over time, leading to joint deformities, bone spurs, and limited range of motion. Untreated osteoarthritis can also lead to muscle weakness and atrophy around the affected joints due to reduced use and increased pain avoidance. Further, the chronic pain associated with untreated osteoarthritis can affect a person’s ability to perform daily activities and work, significantly impacting their quality of life.

Pursuing Claims for Harm Caused by the Failure To Diagnose and Treat Osteoarthritis

The failure to diagnose and treat osteoarthritis is often the result of negligence. As such, people that suffer losses due to their doctor’s careless mistakes will frequently seek compensation for their harm via medical malpractice claims.

Typically, in a medical malpractice lawsuit, the plaintiff will allege that the defendant was negligent. Under Maryland law, to establish the negligence of a healthcare provider, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed them a duty and that the defendant's actions or omissions constitute a breach of that duty. The duty imposed on doctors is to provide treatment that aligns with the applicable standard of care, which is the level of care that a reasonable and competent professional in the same field would provide in a similar situation. As the standard of care imposed on doctors is beyond the understanding of most jurors and judges, the plaintiff will most likely need to engage a medical expert who can explain what the standard requires and how the defendant's behavior deviated from the standard.

Once the duty and breach have been established, the plaintiff must show that the defendant's actions directly caused quantifiable damages. In other words, the plaintiff must prove that the injuries they suffered would not have occurred if the defendant had not deviated from the standard of care, which typically necessitates expert testimony. If a plaintiff successfully demonstrates the defendant's liability, they may be awarded damages covering medical expenses, lost wages, out-of-pocket costs, as well as compensation for pain and suffering resulting from the defendant's negligence.

Talk to a Capable Baltimore Attorney

Osteoarthritis can lead to debilitating symptoms, and when doctors fail to diagnose and treat it in a timely manner, their patients often suffer permanent harm. If you were hurt by a physician’s failure to diagnose and treat osteoarthritis, you have the right to pursue compensation, and it is in your best interest to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. The capable Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are sensitive to the devastating impact of injuries caused by incompetent healthcare providers, and if you engage our services, we will fight to help you seek the justice you deserve. We have an office in Baltimore, where we frequently aid people in the pursuit of damages in medical malpractice cases. You can contact us via our form online or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a consultation.