Understanding Septic or Infectious Arthritis



Arthritis is not just a temporary body pain that you should ignore or take for granted. If it results from infections, you would realize how dangerous it can be!


Officially called septic arthritis, infectious arthritis is an inflammation in a joint resulting from infection. Any joint may be involved, but it is most common in larger ones, such as the hip, or those subject to trauma such as the knee or joints in the hands.


Common Symptoms


You know you are suffering from infectious arthritis if you have moderate to high chills and fever; swelling, tenderness, redness, and pain – usually throbbing – in the affected joint; and pain in the buttocks, thighs, or groin. The throbbing pain sometimes spread to other joints and gets worse with movement.


Causes of Infectious Arthritis


The major cause of infectious arthritis is the entry of germs to a joint in the body, usually bacteria such as streptococci, gonococci, staphylococci, hemophilus, and tubercle bacillus or fungi. These germs usually gain entry from any of the following:


  • An infection in the body, such as with tuberculosis or gonorrhea
  • An infection close to the joint, such as with cellulites, skin boils, or bone infection; or
  • An injury where the joint is affected, including skin abrasions and puncture wounds


Treatment for Infectious Arthritis


As medication treatment for infectious arthritis, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics and codeine or narcotics for a short time to relieve pain.


After appropriate treatments, splints or casts may be necessary to rest the affected joint completely. Movement delays healing, so it is best to stay still and stationary during recovery. After cure, therapy often is necessary to restore joint function. You can resume activities gradually. When signs of infection minimized, your appetite will return, allowing you to once again feel strength. alertness, and a feeling of well-being.


Infectious arthritis is usually curable with early diagnosis and treatment. However, recovery takes weeks or months. Treatment delay may result in a badly damaged joint and loss of movement, requiring joint replacement. Maltreatment or delayed treatment, on the other hand, may cause further complications including delayed antibiotic treatment, blood poisoning, or permanent joint damage.