| One-Minute Clinician

Identifying Lyme Disease: Symptoms

Identifying Lyme

  • If systemic Lyme, a blood test
  • If a neuro Lyme, determine via a spinal tap
  • Spinal taps can be done under fluoroscopic guidance with sedation; a Gertie needle with a blunt tip doesn’t shear the meninges; postlumbar puncture symptoms are fewer
  • Offer a spinal tap, if needed, in a nonurgent setting under X-ray or fluoroscopic guidance
  • Patient will be numbed with local anesthetic
  • Spinal taps can be done outpatient ambulatory; observe the patient for several hours, make sure they’re hydrated and comfortable before they go home

Lyme disease symptoms may be quite painful and range from acute to chronic:

  • Joint pain and stiffness
  • Localized arthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Sleep problems
  • Radicular pain
  • Neuropathies
  • Facial pain