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What are the symptoms of Reiters syndrome?

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Posted on Sat, 15 Mar 2014
Question: I have been concerned that I may have reactive arthritis also know as Reiter's Syndrome. I developed a pain in my right knee a few months after having unprotected oral sex with a female escort (giving and receiving). The pain came on suddenly and was very intense for about two weeks. It gradually improved to where I barely noticed it. Recently it has returned after I have did some yard work. It is not extremely painful and can be controlled with alleve. I just had x-rays of my knee and have been told that I have moderate arthritis of the knee. I am being referred t a specialist. Should I be more concerned/less concerned/ or should my concern be unchanged based on the results of the x-ray? Could Reiter's Syndrome show up on an x-ray as moderate arthritis? I have not been diagnosed with a STD but I did have a constant burning sensation in my urethra for about three months. My doctor dignosed it as balanitis and prescribed Fluconazole tablets by mouth for five days. Shortly after finishing the tablets the burning sensation did go away.
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Answered by Dr. Alokkalyani (5 hours later)
Brief Answer: chance of reiters syndrome is less Detailed Answer: Hi Reiters syndrome does not develop over few months. It occurs very gradually after sexual contact. Also reiters syndrome is not diagnosed by x ray as arthritis. You need to see a rheumatologist as soon as possible to evaluate for other causes and understand the seriousness of this concern. I would be able to provide more details after the rheumatologist consult. Hope I have answered your question. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Follow up: Dr. Alokkalyani (10 hours later)
Can you give me more detail about the x-ray connection? Does Reiters syndrome not show up on x-rays. Can you confirm that something that shows up as moderate arthritis on a x-ray would not be Reiters Syndrome? I am waiting for my referral to the rheumatologist and just trying to determine what to expect once I get an appointment. Thanks for your assistance.
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Answered by Dr. Alokkalyani (2 hours later)
Brief Answer: details Detailed Answer: Hi, There is no specific finding on x ray. It can show erosions, sacroilitis, syndesmophytes etc. and none of them are specific to this disease. These can be present in a variety of other conditions also. If arthritis occurs later than 4 weeks of unprotected sex, this does not fit in the criteria of reiters disease.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
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Dr. Alokkalyani

Rheumatologist

Practicing since :1999

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What are the symptoms of Reiters syndrome?

Brief Answer: chance of reiters syndrome is less Detailed Answer: Hi Reiters syndrome does not develop over few months. It occurs very gradually after sexual contact. Also reiters syndrome is not diagnosed by x ray as arthritis. You need to see a rheumatologist as soon as possible to evaluate for other causes and understand the seriousness of this concern. I would be able to provide more details after the rheumatologist consult. Hope I have answered your question. Regards