Septic arthritis is also known as infectious arthritis, and is usually caused by bacteria. It can also be caused by a virus or fungus. The condition. Septic arthritis — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms and treatment of joint infections. Infectious arthritis is a form of arthritis caused by an infection in the joint. It is also called septic arthritis.
However the gonococcus bacterium can travel through the blood stream to other parts of the body. If it settles in one or more joints, infectious arthritis can develop in those joints and the area that surrounds the joints. Gonococcus generally affects the knee joints and can also affect the tendons and bursae to cause tendonitis and bursitis. This infectious arthritis can occur within days or weeks after the symptoms of gonorrhea appear. It occurs more often in women than in men.
The symptoms of gonorrhea are not as obvious for women. Therefore, women generally seek treatment later than men. This delay in treatment gives the bacteria more time to travel through the bloodstream. This type of arthritis should be treated immediately--as soon as you notice symptoms--to prevent serious damage to the joints.
Gonorrhea is spread from person to person by sexual contact. Therefore care should be taken in sexual relationships where there may be a chance of getting the disease. The spread of gonorrhea can usually be prevented by the correct use of condoms. Anyone who thinks he or she may have gonorrhea should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Appropriate treatment with antibiotics can prevent damage to joints and other parts of the body. There are several different kinds of Gram-positive bacteria. They are called Gram-positive because when mixed in the laboratory with a solution called "Gram's stain," they take on a bluish-purple stain or color. Some of the Gram-positive bacteria that can cause infectious arthritis are: These Gram-positive bacteria cause other illnesses such as meningitis, pneumonia, or an abscess.
Often people with these illnesses develop infectious arthritis when the bacteria spread to a joint and produce inflammation. In other cases, Gram-positive bacteria cause infectious arthritis, but no other illness is detected. Staphylococcus is the second most common cause of infectious arthritis. It is often called a "staph infection. People who have rheumatoid arthritis or who take steroids or immunosuppressive agents such as imuran, cytoxan and methotrexate are more apt to get infectious arthritis from staphylococcus bacteria.
These bacteria are called Gram-negative because they do not take on a bluish-purple color when mixed with the Gram's stain.
They are less likely to produce infectious arthritis than Gram-positive bacteria. Gram-negative bacteria commonly infect people whose bacteria-fighting defense system immune system is already weak.
Hemophilus is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes severe sore throat and meningitis. It is a major cause of infectious arthritis in infants but rarely causes it in adults. Spirochetes are bacteria that appear spiral shaped under a microscope. There are many different kinds of spirochetes. One kind called Borrelia causes a form of infectious arthritis called Lyme disease.
This disease occurs in people as a result of a tick bite. Anyone can get Lyme disease but it is more common in children. The Borrelia spirochete is carried by a small tick called Ixodes that lives on deer and mice. It is found in wooded areas during the spring and early summer. Many areas of the country have reported cases of Lyme disease. However most cases occur in seven states: People infected may not have seen the tick because it is very tiny.
It is oval, has eight legs and is often no larger than a pinhead or match head. When the tick bites someone, it injects the spirochete into the person's blood stream. Symptoms of the infection usually do not appear until weeks after the bite. You may want to protect yourself and others from Lyme disease when you visit wooded or lake areas as suggested below.
If untreated, the spirochete may spread to the person's brain, heart and nervous system. This could lead to symptoms such as:. With proper medication, Lyme disease usually goes away in a short time. However, if not diagnosed and treated properly, symptoms can become more severe and recur several times over a year or more.
The bacterium that causes tuberculosis can also cause infectious arthritis. It is much less common today than it was years ago. When it does occur, it is often very slow to develop and usually spreads from the lung to involve only one joint. Infectious arthritis can also be caused by viruses. It is usually produced by a viral infection that is already present in a person's body. Infectious hepatitis, mumps and infectious mononucleosis are viral infections that can lead to a short bout of infectious arthritis.
Generally, the joint inflammation lasts no more than one to two weeks. German measles can also produce an infectious arthritis which may occasionally last as long as one year after the measles rash is gone. Fungi are the least common cause of infectious arthritis. Arthritis produced by a fungus usually develops very slowly.
Types of fungi that can produce arthritis are usually found in soil, bird droppings and certain plants especially roses. Chicken farmers and gardeners are especially likely to be exposed to this type of arthritis.
Any significant manipulation of the gums can cause bacteria to enter the blood stream--even brushing the teeth in the presence of gum disease. Periodontal health is important. In rare cases, periodontal disease may cause an infectious arthritis, especially when extensive dental work is being done. We worry about it in particular for those with artificial joints in place as they can not combat the bacterial that might get into the blood stream.
Infectious arthritis occurs more frequently in people with abnormal joints, especially rheumatoid arthritis, people with artificial joints or those with diabetes. For those with arthritis or artificial joints in place, consult your rheumatogist or orthopedist before having dental work done. An antibiotic 1 hour before and 8 hours after may be in order. To determine if a person has infectious arthritis, the doctor will first ask about the person's symptoms and any other medical conditions.
The doctor will want to know about any recent travel, illness or contact with people who have had infections. However, reactive arthritis does not usually result from the infectious organism spreading to another joint. Instead, it occurs when the body's immune system overreacts to the infection, often causing joint inflammation elsewhere in the body. Sometimes, an infection in a joint that has cleared up some time ago can trigger the autoimmune process and lead to reactive arthritis elsewhere in the body.
Infectious arthritis is a severe condition. It may cause permanent damage to the bones and tissue surrounding the affected joint. Article last reviewed by Wed 12 September All references are available in the References tab. Bacterial septic arthritis in adults [Abstract]. Clinical management of septic arthritis. Septic arthritis infectious arthritis in children. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.
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Register for a free account Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. Register take the tour. The bacteria Staphylococci are a common cause of infectious arthritis.
Doctors may give a person antibiotics for infectious arthritis. Excessive alcohol use may increase the risk of contracting infectious arthritis. What are the causes and types of arthritis? There may be as many as types of arthritis. Learn more about the different symptoms and treatments of some common types of arthritis here.
The most common joints affected by septic arthritis are the knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, and wrist. The following are the most common symptoms of septic arthritis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms of septic arthritis may resemble other medical conditions or problems.
In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for septic arthritis may include:. Phlegm, spinal fluid, and urine tests. These tests are done to detect bacteria and find the source of infection.
A diagnostic test that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film. Magnetic resonance imaging MRI. A diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. Nuclear scans of various organs to determine blood flow to the organs.
Septic arthritis usually requires immediate treatment with antibiotics which can improve symptoms within 48 hours. However, certain infections caused by fungi need treatment with antifungal medications, while viral infections usually have to run their course without treatment.
To prevent accumulation of pus from the infection, which can damage the joint, pus may be drained with a needle, tube, or surgery. Other treatment may include:.
Infectious arthritis is an infection in a joint. It may also be referred to as septic arthritis. It occurs when an infection caused by a bacteria or virus. Most kinds of arthritis cause pain and swelling in your joints. Joints are places where two bones meet, such as your elbow or knee. Infectious arthritis is an. Septic arthritis, also known as infectious arthritis, may represent a direct invasion of joint space by various microorganisms, most commonly.