Can I sue a doctor for a misdiagnosis that led to a muscle and back injury?

by David
(Knoxville, TN)

I've been suffering from a skin condition for almost a year now. It all started when I put sulfur soap and lye soap on my skin while showering (and leaving it on for a few minutes). After I did this I started itching really bad, and a few months after the itching began, puss-type welts began to appear.

My hands also became very swollen where I couldn't close my fingers, and cracks were bursting everywhere on my hands. I've seen 4 dermatologists and 1 regular doctor regarding this condition. 2 derms diagnosed scabies, 1 derm diagnosed psoriasis, and the other derm diagnosed a reaction to the stuff I put on my skin.

I just had the regular doctor give me a blood test. My complaint is with the last doctor I saw. He saw me for approximately 1 minute (at the most) and diagnosed me with scabies. I had told him I doubted it was scabies since I had already treated myself with the permethrin cream.

I had also told him about my hands swelling up and he said that could be scabies, and I know that is completely incorrect because there is nothing out there that states scabies causes swelling. Anyways, I still took all the medicine he prescribed me which included Ivermectin for scabies, Bactrin (an antibiotic), and Kenalog (a steroid shot).

The ivermectin did not work and when the steroid wore off, these huge half dollar size welts projected out from my skin about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch. This wasn't the worst of it though. A couple of days after he gave me that medicine I blew out my calf muscle jogging up some steps to get out of the rain. I wasn't running fast or anything. I was like leisurely jogging up the steps and my calf muscle just blew out.

Then, a few days after that my back blew something out on the lower right side when I was moving some boxes. I wasn't picking up anything heavy and I've never had problems with my back until that time. Anyways, that back injury lasted a few days. I didn't think it was real serious but I was a little worried since it lasted more than one day.

Well I got over that (I had thought) until about 4 months later I was moving a pallet at work and my back gave out in the exact same location. This time the pain was much worse and I almost toppled off the lift gate of the truck where I work. I could not stand up straight after driving for approximately 3 weeks after this injury.

It would take about 4-5 minutes before I could stand up straight after driving, and I couldn't go jogging or anything like that because it would aggravate the injury. I have still not overcome this injury and it's been almost half a year.

I am now seeing a back specialist and have been through physical therapy. I am supposed to get an MRI in January. I am also going to see another doctor regarding my skin condition because I'm almost certain I have some type of infection in my skin.

Anyways, here are the basics of my complaint:

The doctor only spent maybe up to a minute in diagnosing me. He made the wrong diagnosis. The medicine he gave me caused me severe problems with my muscles, where they started blowing out over the slightest movement.

Now I have little faith in this judicial system, so I really don't expect to be compensated, but I figured I might as well as ask and see what comes of it. Is there anything I can do?

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Can I sue a doctor for a misdiagnosis that led to a muscle and back injury?":

David (Knoxville, TN):

You certainly have a substantial number of medical maladies. While we have expertise in medical malpractice law, we can not diagnose medical problems or their required treatment.

You are implying the doctor misdiagnosed you, and should therefore be liable for your injuries and resulting medical costs. While there remains a possibility the doctor may be liable for your health problems and resulting medical bills, medications, lost wages, and pain and suffering, to assign blame will take an overwhelming amount of evidence.

Ask the doctor for copies of all your medical records. You have a right to them. And seek immediate medical care for your health problems. At this point, the issue of medical malpractice should be far behind your need for medical treatment.

If, after consulting with additional doctors, you and they believe you have been the victim of a misdiagnosis, and that misdiagnosis resulted in your medical problems, then you can seek out the opinions of several personal injury medical malpractice attorneys.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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Original poster
by: David T

I should restate that my muscles didn't blow out over the slightest movement. They blew out doing regular ordinary things you would do in your day.

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