Chlamydia arthritis: symptoms and treatment
Chlamydial arthritis is a pathological condition of the autoimmune type, which progresses due to the penetration of chlamydia into the human body. The main way of transmission of the pathogen is sexual (from an infected partner to a healthy partner). The disease is diagnosed mainly in representatives of both sexes who are in a sexually active age — from 20 to 45 years.
Symptoms of chlamydial arthritis are more pronounced in representatives of the stronger sex. In women, the clinical picture is rare. More often they act as an asymptomatic carrier. Diagnosis of pathology is carried out using laboratory and instrumental techniques. Treatment is appointed taking into account many indicators — the stage of the pathological process, the intensity of the manifestation of symptoms, the area of the lesion, the general condition of the patient, and so on. The doctor describes the therapy plan for each patient strictly individually.
Treat the disease with the help of folk methods of therapy is not recommended, as this can only worsen the clinical picture and provoke the progression of reactive arthritis. In some cases, traditional medicine can be prescribed as an auxiliary therapy, but only at the same time as conventional medicine.
The main reason for the manifestation of symptoms of chlamydial arthritis in a person is the penetration of infected infectious agents into the body — chlamydia. This happens when you have sex with a healthy person with an infected person. It is also worth noting that not only these microorganisms can trigger the development of pathology. The causative agent of chlamydial arthritis is:
- E. coli
- ureaplasma and the like.
This ailment is often called a «sterile» lesion of the joint articulation. The inflammatory process does not penetrate the joint cavity, but it affects the cartilaginous structures, the synovial membrane, the joint capsule, as well as the soft tissues that are localized around it. The causative agent of pathology provokes an autoimmune lesion of the anatomical structures of the joint articulation.
Arthritis of this type progresses 30-45 days after the chlamydia have penetrated the human body. It should be noted that chlamydia primarily affects the visual apparatus and the urinary system, and only then cause inflammation in the locomotor apparatus (if the full treatment of the disease in the first two stages has not been carried out). Most often the disease affects the ankle, knee joints, as well as small joints of the foot. If the pathology is not treated, other anatomical structures will soon be involved in the process — the vertebral column, the brushes, the temporomandibular joint, etc.
Characteristic symptoms of the defeat of the musculoskeletal system in chlamydial arthritis:
- inflammation in the lesion. Tissues over the joint articulation swell, become hyperemic, and a local increase in temperature is noted
- joints are asymmetrically affected;
- painful sensations in the inflammatory process. In this case, they appear even in a state of complete rest and during active motions are only intensified;
- exudate (effusion) appears in the joint cavity
- headache of varying degrees of intensity;
- increased fatigue.
The inflammatory process often affects one or two joints, but it is possible that three or more articular joints are affected (in medical practice it is less common).
As soon as the first symptoms of infection with chlamydia manifested itself, you urgently need to see a qualified doctor for diagnosis and accurate diagnosis. The earlier treatment is carried out, the more effective it will be and the prognosis of the disease is more favorable. At the first appointment the doctor collects an anamnesis of the disease, specifies the time of the first symptoms, whether there were unprotected sex and other important moments. The diagnosis is confirmed on the basis of data obtained by instrumental and laboratory diagnostics.
Methods of laboratory diagnostics:
- blood test is clinical;
- urine analysis is clinical;
- blood biochemistry
- taking synovial fluid from an inflamed joint for examination
- taking from the vaginal mucosa and from the urethra of the smear to confirm or disprove the presence of chlamydia
- PCR method.
Instrumental diagnostics includes X-rays, computed tomography, and arthroscopy. Arthroscopy is one of the most informative techniques, because with the help of special endoscopic equipment it is possible to examine the joint cavity and to reveal any changes in it. Besides, during the manipulation the doctor will be able to take the tissues for further their laboratory study.
The doctor can treat ailment both in inpatient and outpatient settings. As a rule, if symptoms of chlamydial arthritis manifest themselves, several doctors — a rheumatologist, gynecologist, ophthalmologist, urologist — are engaged in the patient at once. In addition, it is very important that treatment for chlamydiosis is carried out and the second sexual partner, even if his symptoms are not expressed.
With the progression of arthritis of Chlamydia nature, doctors resort to conservative therapy. In particular, medication and physiotherapy are prescribed. The standard course consists of:
- Antibacterial drugs. In the treatment of chlamydial arthritis, they are given a special place, since with the help of these medicines the causative agent is destroyed;
- Steroid hormones. They are prescribed if the symptoms of the disease are very pronounced, especially pain syndrome;
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The course of treatment is complemented by them to eliminate the inflammatory process;
- drugs prescribed for autoimmune damage — Plakvenil, Methotrexate, Sulfasalazine and others
- therapeutic gymnastics and physiotherapy treatment
With timely treatment, the prognosis of the disease is favorable. If the therapy is not carried out, the disease is chronic, and there will be periods of exacerbation and remission.