Septic Arthritis

What is septic arthritis?

An intense painful infection of the joint is called septic arthritis. Germs that travel from one part of the body to the other through bloodstream causes the infection in the joint. A stinging injury may also bring germs directly to the joint. Septic arthritis is more common among infants and older adults. Knees and hips are the main joints usually affected due to septic arthritis. The condition seeks immediate medical care as it may cause severe damage to the cartilage within the joint.

What are the symptoms of septic arthritis?

The condition causes extreme discomfort and difficulty to the affected joint. There can be swelling, warmth, redness in the joint and a mild fever to the affected patient.

What Septic Arthritis Treatment

What causes septic arthritis?

Bacterial, viral and fungal infections can cause septic arthritis. One of the common causes is a bacterial infection with Staphylococcus. The Staph bacteria lives on the skin. An infection anywhere in the body that may spread through the bloodstream can cause septic arthritis. Less common causes of septic arthritis may include:

  • A drug injection

  • A surgery or

  • A puncture wound

How is septic arthritis diagnosed?

Typical tests to diagnose septic arthritis may include:

  • Joint fluid analysis

  • Blood tests

  • X-rays

What are the treatment options for septic arthritis?

  • Joint drainage and antibiotics are the major treatment options for septic arthritis.

  • Joint Drainage: The infected fluid is drained using any of the following procedures:

  • Needle- Infected fluid is drawn using a needle that is inserted into the joint.

  • Scope procedure or arthroscopic procedure- Drains the fluid using suction and drainage through arthroscopic steps.

  • Open surgery- It is difficult to drain fluid from joints such as hip. An open surgery is preferred in such cases.

  • Antibiotic Drugs: The doctor will suggest the most effective medication after identifying the cause of infection.

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