J Korean Orthop Assoc.  2018 Feb;53(1):76-79. 10.4055/jkoa.2018.53.1.76.

Munchausen Syndrome in Orthopedics

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Wonkwang University School of Medicine, Iksan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Bumin Hospital Busan, Busan, Korea. woo0ha@naver.com
  • 3Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kosin University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.


Munchausen syndrome is a rare factitious disorder in which a person repeatedly and deliberately acts as if he or she has a physical or mental illness when he or she is not really sick. These patients distort their medical history, undergoing dangerous diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, often resulting in misdiagnosis. Management of this syndrome requires collateral history taking, sound clinical approach, exclusion of organicity, and addressing psychological issues. We report a 54-year-old female, who underwent orthopedic surgery 13 times. She was always unsatisfied with her surgical outcomes, and underwent additional surgical treatment of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and knee joint. She repeatedly complained of joint pain, which was much more exaggerated than expected from her examination results. Therefore, we considered artificial arthrosis for a differential diagnosis of unclear arthrosis, and paid special attention when she exhibited odd behaviors.


Munchausen syndrome; factitous disorder
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