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Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne
disease in the United States and Europe. Increased awareness of the clinical manifestations of the
disease is needed to improve detection and treatment. In the acute and late stages,
Lyme disease may be difficult to distinguish from other
disease processes. The epidemiology and pathophysiology of
Lyme disease are directly related to the Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete and its effects on the integumentary, neurologic, cardiac, and musculoskeletal systems.
Lyme arthritis is a common clinical manifestation of
Lyme disease and should be considered in the evaluation of patients with monoarticular or pauciarticular joint complaints in a geographic area in which
Lyme disease is endemic. Management of
Lyme arthritis involves eradication of the spirochete with antibiotics. Generally, the prognosis is excellent. Arthroscopic synovectomy is reserved for refractory cases that do not respond to antibiotics.