Know the facts of Septic Arthritis -
Septic Arthritis Basics:
Septic arthritis is an infection in a joint. The infection can be induced by fungi, bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Joint infection caused by fungi or parasites is much less unusual than that caused by bacteria or viruses. Generally, septic arthritis strikes a single huge joint, such as the hip, or knee, but it is possible for various joints to be infected.
Septic arthritis is also classified as infectious arthritis. Septic arthritis is regarded a medical emergency because of the severe damage that can pass off to cartilage and bone. Septic arthritis can create septic shock, which can be deadly.
Septic Arthritis – In General
Septic arthritis can strike anyone at any age — including infants and children. In adults, weightbearing joints (ankles,hips, knees) are most affected. In children,hips, knees and shoulders are normally affected. As the population ages, doctors are seeing more patients with septic arthritis.
Septic Arthritis – Risk Factors:
Learn more about Septic arthritis:
Certain causes enhance the risk of acquiring septic arthritis. Those include:
- open wounds or skin wounds permit bacteria access to the body.
- alcoholism and injectable drug abuse is linked with high infection risk.
- previous joint problems from joint surgery, joint injury, other types of arthritis.
- weakened immune system from taking immunosuppressant medications or from diseases.
Causes of Septic Arthritis:
The infection can develop anywhere in the body. The infection may also set out as the result of an open wound, surgery, or unsterile injection. Whatever the initial source of infection, septic arthritis occurs when the infected organism moves through the bloodstream to the joint.
Signs and symptoms associated with septic arthritis include:
- severe pain in the affected joint
- warmth near the affected joint
- swelling of the affected joint(joint effusion)
Diagnosis of Septic Arthritis:
After looking at your medical history and physical examination, certain tests will be ordered by your doctor. The tests used to diagnose septic arthritis include:
- x-rays or other imaging studies to evaluate joint damage.
- arthrocentesis to examine synovial(joint) fluid for several parameters that could indicate infection.
- blood tests to dicover elevated white cell count and bacteria.
Septic Arthritis – Treatment
It is essential to determine the bacteria that is causing the infection. Once the bacteria is identified, the appropriate antibiotic can commence. Antibiotics, used to kill the bacteria, are generally taken for 4 to 6 weeks, orally or intravenously.
It may also be essential to drain the infected joint space, either by arthrocentesis, surgical irrigation (washing out the joint with sterile solutions), or debridement (removal of decaying tissue). There may be substantial joint damage resulting from septic arthritis that finally leads to joint replacement surgery.
Factors of Interest About Septic Arthritis:
The most common type of bacteria related in septic arthritis is Staphylococcus aureus, normally referred to as Staph.
- Joint infection caused by a fungus, known as fungal arthritis, is beleived to be very rare.
- The bacteria that causes gonorrhea used to be a common cause of septic arthritis, but safe s** has made it less common.
- When viruses attack joints, it is called viral arthritis, and the condition usually resolves on its own.
Always, seek immediate medical attention if you think you have signs or symptoms that point to septic arthritis.