ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have sudden joint pain?

Question

Why do I have sudden joint pain?

I am a 25 otherwise healthy female. Three weeks ago I was stung or bit by an insect. The problem is I went to kneel on the ground and kneeled right on the bug. It stung and then was gone and I never did see what it was. I still have a small red mark where I was stung/bit. Two weeks after this, I started to experience joint pain. It started in my hips and is worse near the end of the day and at night. Now it is not just my hips but also my knees, shoulders, wrists and knuckles. There is little noticeable swelling other then my knuckles but the pain has gradually got worse.

Answer

I would recommend going to see your primary care doctor about this issue, especially since the pain seems to be persistent and worsening. You will need a complete examination to help figure out what might be going on. It is difficult to know if the insect bite or sting is related to your symptoms of joint pain. There are certainly some infections that could be transmitted by bites that could cause joint pains, including Lyme disease (if you were bitten by a tick, although it sounds like not likely). It is also possible, although quite rare, to develop a systemic illness called "serum sickness" after a bite by a wasp or bee; this illness is characterized by diffuse joint pain or swelling and fatigue and body aches. There are also a number of conditions which cause joint pain and swelling that could occur independently of an insect bite, such as rheumatoid arthritis. These conditions could occur at any time and it could be simply coincidence to have developed symptoms shortly after having an insect bite. Your doctor will be able to examine you and verify the joint symptoms. They will probably want to perform a series of laboratory tests on a blood sample to help figure out exactly what is going on!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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