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What You Need to Know About Lyme Disease

You are probably familiar with Lyme disease because it has frequently made the news in the last few years. This condition can affect people in a number of ways, including affecting your joints. When it comes to a knee specialist, Fox Valley residents with Lyme disease might benefit from this type of doctor if this condition gets to the stage where it affects their joints.

What Causes Lyme Disease?

Borrelia mayonii and Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria are responsible for this condition in the United States. Most transmissions occur when a deer tick is infected and then bites a person. The bacteria get into your bloodstream after a bite, transmitting the disease. In order for the disease to transfer to a human, the tick has to be attached to them for at least 36 hours. Those in areas prone to ticks should be diligent about checking their skin frequently and removing ticks as soon as they notice them.

Looking at the Possible Symptoms

The symptoms are grouped into stages. Within three to 30 days after the bite occurs, a rash might appear. It usually does not itch or cause any pain, but it has a characteristic bullseye appearance. Around the same time that the rash appears, it is possible to experience fever, body aches, chills, fatigue and headache.

If you have Lyme disease and are not treated, it is possible for the rash to occur on other areas of the body. Neurological symptoms might also develop eventually. Joint swelling and pain are possible and can be severe. The knees are most commonly affected.

How is Lyme Disease Diagnosed?

It is important to properly diagnose Lyme disease and this means getting the right blood work. Your doctor will usually start with the ELISA blood test. This is able to detect B. burgdorferi. This test is not perfect and because of this, your doctor will also want confirm your results by performing a western blot test.

Exploring the Treatment Options

It is important to start with antibiotics as soon as possible to fight against the bacteria that is causing Lyme disease. In most cases, oral antibiotics are adequate when it is started in the early stage. The courses typically last from 14 to 21 days. If this does not work or you are experiencing neurological symptoms, your doctor might suggest an intravenous antibiotic. You might have blood testing during treatment to check your progress.

Now you know more about Lyme disease and when an area knee specialist (Green Bay, Oshkosh, Appleton) might be helpful. You can use this information to ensure that you seek out the best treatment options to help with your joint pain and other symptoms.

If you would like to request a consultation with one of the orthopedic specialists at the Orthopedic & Sports Institute (OSI), please call (920) 560-1000 or request an appointment online. Additionally, OSI now offers a Walk-In Clinic at its Appleton location for non-life threatening situations that require immediate attention.

The Orthopedic & Sports Institute has convenient locations to serve you. In addition to the flagship facility in Appleton, you will find outreach clinics in New London, Ripon, Shawano, Waupaca, and the newest location serving the Green Bay area, inside the NOVO Health Clinic in De Pere.

OSI is a proud member of NOVO Health.