Missed appendicitis diagnosis: A case report.


OBJECTIVE The purpose of this case report is to highlight and emphasize the need for an appropriate and thorough list of differential diagnoses when managing patients, as it is insufficient to assume cases are mechanical, until proven non-mechanical. There are over 250,000 cases of appendicitis annually in the United States. Of these cases, <50% present with classic signs and symptoms of pain in the right lower quadrant, mild fever and nausea. It is standard for patients who present with appendicitis to be managed operatively with a laparoscopic appendectomy within 24 hours, otherwise the risk of complications such as rupture, infection, and even death increases dramatically. CLINICAL FEATURES This is a retrospective case report following a 27-year-old male with missed appendicitis, who presented to a chiropractor two-weeks after self-diagnosed food poisoning. On assessment, he was tender with resisted lumbar rotation. Psoas Sign, McBurney's Point, vascular exam, hip exam, were negative. A diagnosis of an abdominal strain was provided. Two weeks later, he returned to the chiropractor without an improvement of symptoms. INTERVENTION & OUTCOME The patient was sent to the hospital, where he was provided a diagnosis of missed appendicitis. He required a hemicolonectomy due to the associated phlegmonous mass. SUMMARY When a patient presents to a chiropractic clinic with symptoms of abdominal pain, having a comprehensive list of non-mechanical differential diagnoses as well as mechanical differentials is crucial. Appropriate assessment and management of abdominal cases decreases the risk to patients, as missed diagnoses often require more invasive interventions.

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Cite this paper

@article{Cox2015MissedAD, title={Missed appendicitis diagnosis: A case report.}, author={Jocelyn Cox and Guy Sovak}, journal={The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association}, year={2015}, volume={59 3}, pages={294-9} }