Some New Mexico residents may suffer from gout, the inflammatory arthritis caused by a build-up of uric acid. What’s worse is that when they go to the doctor for a diagnosis, they often receive the incorrect one. Below are six conditions that gout can often be mistaken for, and vice versa.

First is pseudogout, and as its name implies, it closely mimics the real gout. Doctors may distinguish between the two by finding out what the crystals in the joints are made of. In gout, it’s uric acid; in pseudogout, it’s calcium pyrophosphate.

Second is septic arthritis, a joint infection that results, like gout, in higher white blood cell counts and fevers. Cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection, usually occurs on the lower leg and causes swelling and redness. Blood and skin samples may clear up confusion.

Repetitive, stressful motions can lead to stress fractures, especially in the bones of the foot. This can mean swelling, painful toes: a gout-like symptom. Then there are two forms of arthritis that can be confused with gout: rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Both RA and gout can create lumps under the skin, called nodules in the case of RA and tophi in the case of gout. PsA is known for swelling the fingers and toes (dactylitis), giving the impression of tophi development.

When a diagnostic error leads to unnecessary treatments and physical harm that could have been avoided, then victims may turn to a lawyer and ask for an assessment. It could be that they have good grounds for a medical malpractice claim. The lawyer may request an inquiry with the local medical board and hire third parties for an independent investigation. Once the case is built up, the lawyer may begin negotiations for a fair settlement out of court.