Septic Arthritis: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Septic Arthritis

Septic arthritis is also known as infectious arthritis, and is usually caused by bacteria, or fungus. The condition is an inflammation of a joint that’s caused by infection. Typically, septic arthritis affects one large joint in the body, such as the knee or hip. Less frequently, septic arthritis can affect multiple joints.

What Causes Septic Arthritis?

Septic arthritis usually is caused by bacteria that spread through the blood stream from another area of the body. It can also be caused by a bacterial infection from an open wound or an opening from a surgical procedure, such as knee surgery.

In adults and children, common bacteria that cause acute septic arthritis include Haemophilus influenza, staphylococcus, and streptococcus. These foreign invaders enter the bloodstream and infect the joint, causing inflammation and pain.

Other infections, such as those caused by viruses and fungi, can also cause arthritis. Viruses include:

  • Hepatitis A, B, and C
  • Parvovirus B19
  • Herpes viruses
  • HIV (AIDS virus)
  • HTLV-1
  • Adenovirus
  • Coxsackie viruses
  • Mumps

Fungi that can cause arthritis include histoplasma, coccidiomyces, and blastomyces. These infections are usually lslower to develop than bacterial infections.

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