| | Help in diagnosing my brother's condition
I was hoping you might be able to assist me by pointing me in the right direction to help my brother diagnose an inflammatory condition he developed in June 2004.
My brother is a 27-year-old male, who overall can be described as in great health; he has a healthy diet & does not smoke. He is 5ft 6inches in height & weights 10 stone 3 pounds/143 pounds.
He has played sports consistently all his life (soccer, tennis, running & golf) & not had any serious injury. Then when he woke up one morning in June 2004 he noticed an inflammation in his right knee & left ankle. Over the next 2 to 3 days the inflammation increased to the point he was unable to weight bare without the aid of crutches. Other symptoms he would feel were sharp pains in his joints when weight bearing with or without the use of crutches & constant tissue pain when moving.
His GP referred him to his local orthopaedics department, who in turn advised he had no ligament damage & referred him to rheumatology. Who then carried out numerous blood tests in an attempt to diagnose the cause of the inflammation? All blood & urine tests came back clear apart from a high inflammatory count in his blood. He has also had numerous ultrasounds on the affected knee & ankle as well as a MRI scan on the affected knee.
He was prescribed numerous courses of drug treatment until he was prescribed Diclofeniac & Sulphalzasine, which along with steroid injections to the knee & ankle helped clear up the inflammation & pain over a 4-month treatment period. He carried on with his course of drugs until the inflammatory count in his blood returned to normal.
In August 2005 after his symptoms had cleared & his blood count was normal the rheumatology specialist advised that they believed he had contracted some form of a reactive arthritis, which they believed was caused by a bacterial infection. He was explained that the body cleared this infection out with the assistance of the treatment & then for some reason his body attacked his joints.
However what mystifies me is that his blood tests never showed any bacterial infection!!!
He began returning gradually to sports from mid-September 2005 & carried out his full-time profession as a electrician & enjoyed a 9 months of symptom free period then by mid June 2006 the symptoms described above returned, except this time it effected the right toes, right knee & left thumb.
He has again been prescribed the original medication course that settled the inflammation previously along with a steroid injection, but this has been unsuccessful in resolving his condition. Once again he is using crutches to weight bear & is in constant pain when moving.
He has been referred back to his rheumatology specialist & is awaiting an appointment.
I am looking for any help on information that may help in successfully diagnosing his condition long term so that he can restore he work/life balance that a 27-year-old healthy male should be able to enjoy.
Thanks in advance for any support & your help.