Press Release by: Suffolk First
Published on openPR 01-09-2006
What Is Reactive Arthritis?
Reactive arthritis is a form of arthritis, or joint inflammation, that occurs as a “reaction” to an infection elsewhere in the body. Inflammation is a characteristic reaction of tissues to injury or disease and is marked by swelling, redness, heat, and pain. Besides this joint inflammation, reactive arthritis is associated with two other symptoms: redness and inflammation of the eyes (conjunctivitis) and inflammation of the urinary tract (urethritis). These symptoms may occur alone, together, or not at all.
Reactive arthritis is also known as Reiter’s syndrome, and your doctor may refer to it by yet another term, as a seronegative spondyloarthropathy. The seronegative spondyloarthropathies are a group of disorders that can cause inflammation throughout the body, especially in the spine. (Examples of other disorders in this group include psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and the kind of arthritis that sometimes accompanies inflammatory bowel disease.)


Continue Reading What Causes Reactive Arthritis

December 21, 2005
Paul G. Donohue, M.D.
DEAR DR. DONOHUE: My right knee and the fingers on my right hand suddenly swelled and became painful. My family doctor didn’t know what I had and sent me to an arthritis specialist. He asked if I had been sick in the past month. I had. I had diarrhea for about one week. After a series of tests, he said I had reactive arthritis. Reactive to what? Can you throw some light on this? — P.Z.
ANSWER: Reactive arthritis is joint swelling with severe joint pain that is a ”reaction” to a previous infection. The infection is often an intestinal infection usually producing diarrhea. Or it might be an infection of the urethra, the bladder’s emptying tube. It causes painful urination. Germs involved in this infection include the common diarrhea-producing germs — salmonella, Shigella and Campylobacter. The urethral infection is most often due to the chlamydia germ.
Anywhere from one week to a month after the initial infection, joint symptoms set in. The knee, ankle, foot, toes, wrist and fingers are the usual targets. The fingers take on the appearance of stuffed sausages.


Continue Reading Reactive arthritis due to previous infection

July 2005
Arthritis, in children or adults, is called “reactive” when it is due to a delayed reaction to an infection. The arthritis usually occurs two to four weeks after the infection and lasts from eight to 16 weeks. It may recur or last longer in some people. Current research supports combining antibiotics with other