What is Lyme Arthritis – Symptoms and Treatment
Lyme arthritis (LA) develops in 60 percent people untreated for Lyme disease. Its chronic form affects 10 percent of such people. A tick-borne bacteria known as the Borrelia burgdorferiin causes this disease in the United States. The disease generally responds well to antibiotic therapy.
But in some very rare cases, even though the bacteria is dead, lyme arthritis affects the knees of the patient in particular. Such an undesirable condition is known as antibiotic-refractory LA and can persist for years. This article tries to gain further understanding on the basics of this type of arthritis.
As per the reported cases to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Lyme disease mostly affects children belonging to the age group of 5-9 years and adults above the age of 30 years.
Symptoms of Lyme Arthritis
Symptoms of this disease are similar to other common ailments like flu. As a result people remain unaware of the complications developing inside the body. The bacteria enters into the blood stream and affects the nervous system, heart and finally the joints. Initial signs are stiff necks, body aches, chills, fever or strong headaches existing for an indefinite time. Even in the later stages, the signs of the affected joints are those of other types of arthritis but not the LA.
As the disease progresses, signs of LA become apparent like arthritis in shoulder and knee joints, mood disorder, anxiety and in some cases swelling of the heart. In its chronic stage, the signs are build up of fluids in the joints for more than six months, continuous swelling and redness of one or more joints.
Treatment of Lyme Arthritis
Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen treat mild cases by providing relief from pain and swelling. Nearly 94 percent cases of this disease up to moderate levels are treated by the antibiotic ceftriaxone injected into the veins. But when the disease becomes chronic, unfortunately the bacteria becomes resistant to this antibiotic denying any relief after treatment.