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Back Pain in Child Caused by Lyme Disease: A Case Report

Science Direct has just published a case report of a child in Massachusetts that was diagnosed and treated in the ER with “isolated Lyme radiculoneuritis” (inflammation of the spinal nerve roots). The child’s symptoms included  fever and allodynia (severe sensitivity or heightened pain response) of the upper back. Though isolated radiculoneuritis is considered to be a rare presentation of early disseminated Lyme disease, authors state that this syndrome is “likely underrecognized.”

Laboratory results for the patient showed elevated inflammatory markers as well as a positive test for Borrelia. Additionally, nerve root enhancement was observed in C5-C6 and C6-C7 of the spine through MRI exam with contrast. The child was treated with oral doxycycline and symptoms resolved.

Authors suggest that North American practitioners should be  suspicious of neurologic manifestations of Lyme disease, even when meningitis and cranial nerve palsy are absent, when patients present with neuropathic pain. They also note that timely diagnosis and treatment of this rare syndrome may prevent patients from progressing to late stage Lyme disease.

Access to the full text article can be found here

Read additional LDA articles on Lyme symptoms in children here