Hospital presentations: joint swelling

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About the course

After completing this module, you should have the knowledge and confidence to:

  • Differentiate between mono-, oligo-, and polyarthritis and recall principal causes for each
  • Arrange timely joint aspiration when appropriate to investigate for a septic cause
  • Recognise the importance of history for clues to the diagnosis
  • Order, interpret, and act on initial investigations: blood tests, radiographs, joint aspiration, cultures
  • Recall treatment options for acute arthritides
  • Practise safe prescribing of analgesia, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) for rheumatoid arthritis
  • Be aware of second-line therapy and its complications.


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