Septic Arthritis

Septic Arthritis

In septic arthritis or sometimes called infectious arthritis your joints can become infected by any germ entering your blood. If, for example, a boil or other infection releases the staphylococcal bacterium into your blood, it can spread to a knee or some other joint. The pain is usually intense and sudden.

Gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted bacterial disease, can cause painful joints and rash.

Lyme disease can lead to arthritis. After a tick bite, a red or pink disk-shaped rash may appear, followed by fever, chills, sore throat, fatigue and nausea. Weeks later, stiffness and pain may occur in your joints.

If you have tuberculosis, you are at risk for a form of infectious arthritis called tuberculous arthritis. In more than three-quarters of all cases a single large joint is affected. Joint pain, stiffness, swelling and restriction of movements are associated with loss of appetite, weight. loss, night sweat and bodily discomfort and unease. Hepatitis B, rubella (German measles), mumps and other diseases caused by viruses also can lead to arthritis.

Treatment Options:

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

Joint Drainage:

Three purposes are served when joint drainage – removal of the infected synovial fluid from the joints – is aimed for the treatment of septic arthritis. The three purposes are:

• Removal of the bacteria from the joint
• Reduction of the pressure on the joint
• Acquiring sample for bacteria and other organism tests

The most common method for removing joint fluid is arthroscopic surgery during which special surgical tools and tiny cameras are inserted through small incisions around the joint to access and drain the fluid around the joint.

Fluid from the joints can also be removed through needle. This process is called arthrocentesis which is repeated daily until no bacteria is found in the fluid.

Hips are more difficult to reach through arthrocentesis and arthroscopic. Hence an open surgery is required for removal of the fluid by way of hips.


Your doctor works to find out the bacteria that is causing your infection and then suggests you the most effective antibiotics accordingly. At first, the antibiotics can be given to you through a series of shots and then you may be advised to switch to oral intake

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