Recognizing knee pain associated with Lyme disease

“In our rural health center in Maine, Lyme disease is the most common cause of acute non-injury-related knee pain and swelling, usually presenting as unilateral, red, and warm,” writes Dr. Miller in a recent letter to the American Family Practice journal. “It can also be transitory and migratory. Many patients are unaware of having had a tick bite.” [1]


Dr. Miller often treats empirically. “Because early treatment of Lyme disease decreases the chance of chronic symptoms, we often treat empirically with doxycycline while awaiting results of antibody testing. Travelers to high-risk areas may return home and develop symptoms weeks later.”


  1. Miller R. Lyme Disease As Possible Contributing Factor for Knee Pain. Am Fam Physician. 2019;100(1):4.
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