Sprained and broken ankles are common among children and adults in New Mexico and elsewhere. They can be quite painful at first; however, the pain generally subsides as the ankle heals. Continued pain, even after following a doctor's orders, can indicate that there is another problem. A woman in a nearby state visited the emergency room because of an ankle injury. What was originally diagnosed as a sprained ankle turned out to be much more, and a suit for medical negligence has now been filed.
While attending a New Year's Eve party at the end of 2010, the woman had stepped aside to allow another person to walk past her. In doing so, she accidentally stepped off the concrete she was on, and her foot sank several feet into the dirt next to the concrete. Like a lot of people with ankle injuries, she waited a couple of days before seeking medical attention.
After realizing that her ankle was not getting better and that there might be a problem, the woman visited her local emergency room. The doctor told her she had a sprained ankle and prescribed crutches and rest. As the pain kept increasing over the next few weeks, she realized that there might be more to the problem. Another visit to the emergency room confirmed that she had indeed torn her Achilles tendon, and surgery was necessary.
When residents of New Mexico, as well as other states, visit their local emergency room, they expect to receive an accurate diagnosis so that the healing process can begin. When the problem is incorrectly diagnosed, the patient can continue to suffer, and the question of medical negligence arises. As with the situation with this woman's ankle, the question of medical negligence often is determined in a court of law.
Source: courthousenews.com, Kaiser ER Doc Under-Diagnosed Torn Tendon, Barbara Wallace, Jan. 10, 2014