Doctors must be able to tell the difference between conditions
The key is differentiating between three possibilities when joint pain arises following Lyme disease: active joint infection, post-infectious Lyme arthritis, and a secondary inflammatory arthritis emerging post-Lyme. Doctors should look for multiple joint involvement, which may be a greater diagnostic factor for a condition such as RA. Moreover, they should ask about skin psoriasis, as it can be a strong indication that the issue is not Lyme arthritis. Being that Lyme disease cases are on the rise, Dr. Arvikar notes that there might be a relationship between Lyme disease and later autoimmune disease. “It’s a possibility that doctors need to consider in people who develop arthritis after Lyme infection,” she said.