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Effective Treatment of Lyme Disease-Related Arthritis Depends on Proper Diagnosis
Date:2/2/2011

exposed to ticks carrying Lyme disease should speak to their physicians about the tests used to determine if Lyme disease is present, he said.

"Lyme arthritis has an excellent prognosis with appropriate treatment," Dr. Cruz said. "Most patients respond well to a single course of antibiotics. The key is to diagnose Lyme disease early to avoid development of arthritis, and to differentiate between Lyme arthritis and other types of arthritis in symptomatic patients."

More about Lyme disease:

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), about 30,000 cases of Lyme disease were confirmed in 2009. It occurs most commonly in the Northeast, the Great Lakes region of the Midwest and in the Pacific Northwest.  To help prevent Lyme disease and associated arthritis, the CDC recommends the following steps:

  • Avoid wooded or bushy areas with lots of  leaf litter and high grass
  • Take extra precautions during May, June and July when ticks are most active
  • Use insect repellent with 20 percent  - 30 percent DEET on exposed skin and clothing
  • Wear long pants, long sleeves, and long socks to keep ticks off your skin. Tuck pants into boots or socks and wear light-colored clothing so ticks are easier to spot
  • Check your skin and clothes for ticks before going indoors

Disclosures: Dr. Smith, a co-author of this article, or an immediate family member is a member of a speakers' bureau or has made paid presentations on behalf of and has received research or institutional support from Stryker. Another co-author, Dr. Shapiro or an immediate family member serves as a board member, owner, officer, or committee member of the American Board of Pediatrics, Sub-board on Infectious Diseases, and the American Lyme Disease Foundation.

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SOURCE American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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