Septic Arthritis, also known as infectious arthritis, is an infection caused by bacteria, virus, and fungi to one or more joints. Septic arthritis commonly affects a single joint however, there are cases wherein more joints are involved. The joints affected vary somewhat depending on the microbe causing the infection. There are also risk factors for this condition including:

  • Patient Taking Immune-Suppression Medicines
  • Intravenous Drug Abuse
  • Past Joint Disease
  • Injury or Surgery
  • Underlying Medical Illnesses like Diabetes, Alcoholism, Sickle Cell Disease, Rheumatic Diseases, and Immune Deficiency Disorders.

Infants and older adults are most likely to develop septic arthritis. The knees are the most common part affected by the infection. However, it may also in other parts such as the hips, shoulders and other joints. Prompt treatment is important to avoid complications.

Symptoms of septic arthritis may include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Joint Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Stiffness
  • Warmth


To diagnose septic arthritis you may unergo the following tests:

  • Joint Fluid Analysis – A sample fluid from the affected joint may be withdrawn for laboratory testing. If the the joint is infected, the color, consistency and volume that makes up the fluid may be different. This may also help determine what kind of microbe affected the joint.
  • Blood Tests – Infections can be determine in the blood.
  • Imaging Tests- It provides image of the joint to know the extent of theinfection.



After determining the type of microbe that cause the infection, the doctor may suggest treatment such as:

  • Joint Drainage – The infected joint fluid will be removed through several methos including the use of:
    • Needle – A needle is inserted into the joint space to withdraw fluids.
    • Arthroscopy- With a help of a flexible tube with a video camera at its tip, suction and drainage tubes are inserted through small incisions around the joint.
    • Open Surgery – This option use to withdraw fluids in some areas such as the hips.
  • Antibiotics – Injection and oral antibiotics may treat infection however it may carry some side effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

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