Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Do I have Reiter's syndrome?"

ZocdocAnswersDo I have Reiter's syndrome?


There is swelling and pain around my left ankle joint. Is this Reiter's syndrome? How is it treated and diagnosed?


Reiter's syndrome (also known as reactive arthritis) is a complex condition involving infection, joint pain, urinary symptoms, and problems with vision. It is a condition that can often start off as an infection with the bacteria chlamydia. In people with a certain gene, this infection causes a chain reaction that causes urethritis (painful urination), swollen joints (often in the knee), and uveitis (an inflamed eye). If your only symptom is pain and swelling around your left ankle joint, then Reiter's syndrome is not the first problem that I would look into. This is because pain and swelling in the ankle has many other possible causes other than Reiter's syndrome. The most common cause of this problem is trauma to your ankle. If you recently twisted your ankle or stepped on your foot in the wrong way, then this is the most likely cause of your symptoms. Other possibilities include gout (which is caused by uric acid crystals) and infection of the joint. Both of these require immediate attention by a doctor. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a rheumatologist for this ankle. The reason I think you should see a specialist is that I think you may need fluid drained from your ankle joint in order to make a diagnosis. A rheumatologist is the best physician to perform this procedure.

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