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Aches in knee after Rheumatic fever

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I am a 20 year old Male, and have been having knee aches. Usually feels like they need to be popped, and make noises when I bend them. ( also feel jerky, or get stiff sometimes and it's very aggravating). My history: At age 5 I had rheumatic fever, I remember and have been told that it affected my knee joints severly... That was the main symptom that caused my parents to go to doctor because they thought something was wrong ( RH fever caused my knees to lock up and I couldn't walk at all, literally crawled around for 2 days before my parents realized I wasn't faking it considering I was at such a young age). Here 15 years down the road after treatment of the RH fever, I'm having really bad knee problems. My question is, could the Rheumatic fever cause rheumatoid arthritis? I've been told that all rhuematic problems are linked somehow and I really need answers to this knee pain and dont want to look foolish talking to my doctor about arthritis at age 20... Please help, and thank you!!

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replied March 28th, 2018
Arthritis Answer A63490
Welcome to e health forum.

Caused by the group A streptococcus bacteria, rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that can develop as a complication of an untreated or inadequately treated strep throat infection, usually showing up about four weeks after the strep infection has healed. Strep is usually treated and cured quickly with antibiotics in most developed countries.

Rheumatic fever got its name because several of its symptoms mimic rheumatic diseases like rheumatoid and other forms of arthritis. The symptoms include joint swelling and pain, fever, nodules under the skin of the elbows and knees, and weakness, shortness of breath, and fatigue. Other symptoms may include a raised red rash on the stomach and back, uncontrollable body movements (convulsions) or outbursts of unusual behavior, like sudden laughing or crying.

Treatment includes antibiotics to knock out any remaining streptococcus bacteria in the body and prevent re-infection. If the patient is a child, he or she will need to keep taking antibiotics as a preventative measure until the age of 21.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system mistakes its own tissues for foreign invaders, like bacteria or viruses. It sends warrior antibodies to attack and destroy the “invaders.” In RD, the body mainly targets the synovial tissues in the joints, though it may affect other parts of the body, as well. These ongoing attacks cause the joint inflammation, pain, swelling, and damage characteristic of the disease.

The linings of the heart and lungs, the kidneys, the vascular system, and the eyes may also be affected by rheumatoid disease, and often contribute to the fatalities associated with it.

Hence as explained above there is no exact correlation between the two conditions.

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