Symptoms of Enteropathic ArthritisEnteropathic arthritis causes swelling, redness, heat, and pain in the affected joint. Typically, multiple joints are involved. In most people, peripheral joints are most affected. This includes the knees, ankles, elbows, and wrists. The finger joints, hips, and shoulders are less likely to be affected.
When the spine is involved, symptoms of enteropathic arthritis may include morning stiffness in the lower back or buttocks. This stiffness also occurs after significant rest. In about 5 percent of people with enteropathic arthritis in the spine, the entire spine may be involved (i.e., the neck and lower back), similar to a condition known as ankylosing spondylitis.
The symptoms of enteropathic arthritis usually last less than six months and generally occur during a flare of the bowel disease. Enteropathic arthritis does not usually result in destruction or deformity of the joint or cause long-term disability.
It is possible that enteropathic arthritis symptoms may occur before a person is even diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease.
How Is It Diagnosed?In order to diagnose enteropathic arthritis, the healthcare provider will probably begin by asking a number of questions. Then he or she will typically perform a physical exam looking for signs of enteropathic arthritis. If the healthcare provider suspects enteropathic arthritis, he or she may recommend certain tests.
Tests your healthcare provider may recommend include:
- X-rays or other imaging tests
- Synovial fluid testing
- Blood tests.
Before making a diagnosis of enteropathic arthritis, the healthcare provider will make sure you do not have other conditions that share similar symptoms with enteropathic arthritis. Examples of such conditions include:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Gout (gouty arthritis)
- Gonococcal arthritis
- Other types of infectious arthritis (including septic arthritis)
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Lyme disease