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Is doctor allowed to advise invasive "diagnostic" procedures on the basis of an unlikely theory that later every doctor refutes?

Tempe, AZ |

Doctor came up with theory that my leg problem was coming from my back due to herniations on lumbar psine mri discovered BY ACCIDENT during neurological work up and congenital "cresent" shaped spine though NO BACK PAIN. But he neglected to mention that the opposite side, i.e. the asymptomatic side looks actually worse on mri with the mri bulge being bigger and an annular tear there. Having this knowledge would have directly deterred me from getting a "diagnostic" injection to "test his hypothesis." Turned out to be not diagnostic and leg mri shows that pain from leg really is coming from leg, but the "diagnosis" could have been ruled out based on facts alone, as doctor used the term "neurogenic claudication" improperly by saying that my symptoms were due to neurogenic claudication even though I have no pain on extension. As a result of the injection that was not diagnostic, it opened up a can of worms in terms of other medical problems in that I had an adverse reaction to the steroids that has not resolved 8 months post injection. Is it okay for doctors to order "diagnostic" procedures in this manner? And then when I complain, blame that patient for listening to his advise? Can I sue him for keeping back the informaiton about the mri looking worse on the opposite side that would have deterred me from undergoing "Diagnostic " procedures?

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Attorney answers 3


I'm sorry to hear about this, I hope that you weren't injected with a steroid contaminated with fungal meningitis, which you can read about on my website.

The only way to know if there was malpractice is to retain a med mal lawyer who can order the medical records and send to an expert to review to ascertain whether there was a breach of the standard of care.

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Asking whether a doctor is "allowed" to do a procedure is the wrong question. The question is whether it was an approach that a reasonable doctor might take, based on the circumstances. Since diagnostic injection is generally low risk, I suspect the answer might be that it was within the standard of care. But that question requires evaluation by an expert physician. The next question is whether your injuries are sufficient to justify pursuing an expert evaluation - which I cannot tell from your post.


I agree with Mr. Lassen. You need to hire a medical malpractice attorney to review the details of the case.

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