Plant Thorn Arthritis
(Plant Thorn Synovitis or Thorn Arthritis)
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Catherine Burt Driver, MD
Catherine Burt Driver, MD, is board certified in internal medicine and rheumatology by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Driver is a member of the American College of Rheumatology. She currently is in active practice in the field of rheumatology in Mission Viejo, Calif., where she is a partner in Mission Internal Medical Group.
- What is plant thorn arthritis?
- What plants cause plant thorn arthritis?
- What joints are typically involved in plant thorn arthritis?
- What are plant thorn arthritis symptoms and signs?
- How is plant thorn arthritis diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for plant thorn arthritis?
- What is the outlook (prognosis) of plant thorn arthritis?
- Plant Thorn Arthritis At A Glance
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What is plant thorn arthritis?
Plant thorn arthritis is a noninfectious inflammation of a joint as a result of a thorn puncturing the joint and leaving residual plant matter lodged within the joint. The plant thorn fragments cause a localized inflammation reaction in the joint lining tissue that leads to swelling, stiffness, loss of range of motion, and pain. The joint lining tissue is called the synovium. Inflammation of this tissue is medically referred to as synovitis. Plant thorn arthritis is also called plant thorn synovitis.
What plants cause plant thorn arthritis?
The plants that commonly cause plant thorn arthritis are those that produce thorns. These plants include palm trees, roses, black-thorn shrubs, cacti, bougainvillea, yucca, pyracantha, plum trees, and mesquite trees.
What joints are typically involved in plant thorn arthritis?
Plant thorn arthritis typically affects only a single
What are plant thorn arthritis symptoms and signs?
Plant thorn arthritis causes the involved joint to be swollen, slightly reddish, stiff, and painful. The joint loses its full range of motion and is often tender. These symptoms may be noticed only many days after the initial thorn puncture. It is not uncommon for the person affected by plant thorn arthritis to remove the thorn immediately after the puncture and then develop the arthritis many days or weeks later and not even recall that the joint had been punctured previously! This is because the original thorn has actually left behind small fragments of thorn vegetable matter that gradually cause the inflammation of plant thorn arthritis. This form of single joint arthritis (monoarthritis) then becomes chronic until appropriately treated.
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