Case Archive
Osteopathy, Orthopedic Surgery
Ref. # 55618

A Michigan man saw an osteopathic family practitioner for a swollen knee. Cloudy fluid from the knee was removed. The diagnosis was bursitis/knee sprain. Three days later the osteopath repeated the procedure, sent the fluid to a lab, and injected the knee with cortisone. A Doppler study was reported normal. The next day the lab report noted pericardial fluid showing red and white cells. A report on a culture of synovial fluid four days later noted the presence of staph aureus. Three days later the patient presented to a clinic and was seen by an M.D. who diagnosed bursitis and prescribed Motrin and ice. The next day the patient presented with a 104 degree temperature and was seen by two other physicians, who diagnosed osteomyelitis and severe cellulitis of posterior calf and referred the patient to an orthopedist. Hospitalization was arranged for treatment with IV Rocephin and Talacen. Two days later, the patient underwent an incision and drainage. He was diagnosed with necrotizing fascitis secondary to a staph infection and subsequently required multiple surgeries. A medQuest osteopathic family practitioner opined the attending D.O. negligently injected cortisone into the knee before receiving the results of the fluid analysis. There was a negligent failure to follow up on the lab report of staph and immediately start the patient on antibiotics. Furthermore, the initial M.D. at the clinic misdiagnosed the knee problem despite clear signs of an infection. A medQuest orthopedic surgeon independently concurred that there was a negligent delay in treating a severe infection. Had the patient been hospitalized once the lab report of staph was received, his subsequent complications would have been avoided.

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