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Arthritis in rheumatic fever

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

  • most common major manifestation of rheumatic fever
  • occurs in 75% of patients
  • not a deforming arthritis
  • migratory arthritis affecting large joints
  • in order of frequency, the ankle, knee, wrist, elbow, hip and shoulder
  • arthritis is of sudden onset with joint pain reaching maximum intensity within 12 to 24 hours
  • swelling associated with the arthritis is generally modest compared with the severe pain
  • redness of the joint is minimal
  • pain in a particular joint will usually last for less than 1 week
  • by the time the pain in a particular joint has subsided then the arthritis has migrated to another
  • the process of migratory arthritis lasts for 3-6 weeks

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