An estimated 30 to 40% of psoriasis patients in Montana and across the United States also develop a secondary condition known as psoriatic arthritis. Psoriatic arthritis is a disease that causes painful inflammation in the joints, tendons and ligaments. Unfortunately, psoriatic arthritis is often misdiagnosed.
A study published in Rheumatology Consultant found that 31% of those surveyed didn’t receive a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis until five years after seeking medical assistance for symptoms. Only 30% were diagnosed within six months of going to the doctor, and 33% received a diagnosis between six months and four years of seeking help. Delayed diagnosis may cause a worsened medical condition to occur.
Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that affects everyday life. Joint pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms. Other symptoms include painful, thickened nails that easily crumble, sausage-like toes and fingers, fatigue and swollen joints. Early diagnosis and treatment may help prevent more severe symptoms, such as depression and loss of movement. Dermatologists and rheumatologists are often responsible for diagnosing psoriatic arthritis and prescribing a treatment regimen. Treatment options include medication, increased activity and weight loss.
When a patient presents with symptoms and seeks medical advice, they deserve to get the proper diagnosis and treatment plan to treat their condition and reduce their symptoms. When a doctor doesn’t take the time to properly diagnose a patient, the patient often suffers from prolonged symptoms. A misdiagnosed condition may lead to multiple doctor visits, time off of work and costly medical bills.
A lawyer might help a patient who was misdiagnosed or who received a delayed misdiagnosis with financial help by filing a civil suit. For example, a patient with psoriasis may have presented symptoms of psoriatic arthritis for several years before being diagnosed, resulting in thousands of dollars in medical bills. The patient might receive a settlement by claiming that medical malpractice occurred and showing evidence of negligence.