What Is Gonococcal Arthritis?

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By Steve Page

If you have been diagnosed with this condition, you may be wondering what causes it. Learn about the symptoms, causes, and treatment. You should also be familiar with the supportive measures to take to ease symptoms. Listed below are some helpful facts about the disease. Symptoms of gonococcal arthritis include pain in the knees, wrists, and elbows. Treatment for gonococcal arthritis depends on the cause of the problem.

Symptoms of Gonococcal Arthritis

Symptoms of gonococcal arthritis are most commonly found in the hands, fingers, ankles, and knees. This infectious disease affects people of any age, although women are more likely to develop the disease. Gonococcal infection occurs most frequently in African Americans, while whites and Hispanics are less likely to contract it. It occurs in the skin and blood of both men and women.

Gonococcal arthritis is a disorder caused by bacteria that enter the body through the mucosal lining of the genitalia. Women are more likely to develop this condition than men. This is because women often delay treatment for gonorrhoea, which allows the bacteria to move more easily through the bloodstream. When treatment is delayed, the bacteria have more time to cause damage to the joints.

The best treatment for gonococcal arthritis is antibiotic therapy, which usually clears up the symptoms within five days. If no positive results are seen after five days, a reassessment of the treatment plan is necessary. In complicated cases, stronger or different antibiotics may be necessary. If the disease is serious, treatment may include surgical drainage. Patients may need to avoid sexual activity for several days until their symptoms have cleared up.

Causes of Gonococcal Arthritis

The most common presenting symptom of disseminated gonococcal infection is a joint inflammation called arthralgia. This inflammatory joint disease is often polyarticular and asymmetric, with involvement of mainly the upper extremities. Commonly affected joints include the elbow, knee, ankle, and wrist. In severe cases, surgical drainage may be required. Surgical drainage is the last resort.

The cause of gonococcal arthritis is the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, a gram-negative, aerobic diplococcus. The disease can occur locally or in the pelvic cavity and can be characterized by pain, swelling, and periarticular erythema. A follow-up visit is necessary to confirm that the infection has cleared. Treatment is effective in reducing the risk of severe complications.

Treatment for gonococcal arthritis depends on determining a patient’s gonorrhea infection. A doctor may order joint fluid or stool samples to determine the presence of gonorrhea. Moreover, a healthcare provider may request for a urine or throat culture to determine the presence of gonorrhea. If these tests are negative, antibiotic treatment may be necessary. Once a person has been diagnosed with gonorrhea, it is important to contact their past sexual partners to prevent the infection from spreading.

Treatments for Gonococcal Arthritis

Gonococcal arthritis is a septic disease caused by a bacterium called gonococci. It affects about 1% of the total number of arthritis cases in Europe and is much more common in women than in men. It typically occurs as a result of a septic infection that is not apparent to the patient and that allows the bacteria to spread to several joints. Other risk factors for gonococcal arthritis include intravenous drug use and systemic lupus erythematous.

The first line of treatment is antibiotic therapy. A course of oral antibiotics is typically prescribed if the joint isn’t septic or the condition isn’t associated with a secondary complication, such as anemia. However, this approach is not always possible in all cases. If a culture is available, a de-escalation to oral therapy may be considered. If oral antibiotics are ineffective, the patient should be treated with a parenteral antibiotic.

Gonococcal Arthritis Supportive Measures

Patients who experience symptoms of gonococcal arthritis should be evaluated for the presence of rheumatoid arthritis, reactive arthritis, or psoriatic disease. Joint involvement may also be due to Lyme disease or infective endocarditis, and certain viruses. The prognosis for patients with disseminated gonococcal infection is generally good, though delayed treatment may lead to rare complications, such as endocarditis. In addition, patients should be examined regularly and tested for other sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis. Patients must contact their partners and get treatment for any potential sexually transmitted infections.

Diagnosis of gonococcal arthritis is complicated by the lack of a reliable test for the presence of antibodies to Neisseria gonorrhoea. Indirect immunofluorescent methods are available for measuring gonococcal antibodies in smears of Neisseria gonorrhoea. In these studies, a gonococcal antibody was detected in 19 out of 22 patients with definite and 17 out of 35 patients with presumptive gonococcal arthritis. Similarly, cross-reactivity with Mimea polymorpha was not observed.