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Fibromyalgia Misdiagnosed As Arthritis

Dear Alexa

Several years ago I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I was treated with various drugs including methotrexate. The drugs did not really help, but I did have some side effects from them. Recently I obtained a second opinion from a different NHS Trust. I was told that I did not suffer, nor had I ever suffered, from rheumatoid arthritis. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I believe that my current diagnosis is correct and that I never had rheumatoid arthritis. My joints were not inflamed and I did not have synovitis, the medical term for inflammation of the membrane which lines the joints. Do I have a remedy against the NHS Trust which kept treating me for rheumatoid arthritis?

Jean.

Dear Jean

It sounds as though the doctors at the first Trust may well have been negligent in diagnosing you wrongly with rheumatoid arthritis. They may over a long period have failed to appreciate that that diagnosis, in the absence of synovitis of the joints, was unlikely and they should have checked out the diagnosis by using imaging techniques such as Isotope bone scanning.

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During the period that you were diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis your fibromyalgia was not recognised or being tackled and instead you were being given drugs and treatment for rheumatoid arthritis which caused you side effects. In a recent case a woman received £50,000 in an out of Court settlement caused because of the incorrect diagnosis and failure to re-evaluate it over a period of time. It is definitely worth you taking legal advice over this.

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Alexa Robbins

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