Most patients with untreated Lyme disease will experience joint symptoms. Owing to their resemblance in clinical presentation, Lyme arthritis and septic arthritis are often difficult to differentiate. However, their treatment is different. The elbow is rarely the first joint to present with symptoms. Therefore, Lyme disease is not commonly included in the differential diagnosis for children presenting with isolated elbow pain. The authors report 4 cases of monoarticular Lyme arthritis presenting in the elbow. There was an average delay of diagnosis of 4.75 days. Three cases were treated with oral antibiotics alone; 1 case was treated with unnecessary surgery due to uncertainty of the diagnosis and the delay in the laboratory performing the Lyme serology tests. The authors strongly recommend that Lyme serology be performed on an emergent basis to prevent unneeded surgery.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine