A Different View on Arthritis

Posted Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Did You Know? Arthritis is an informal way of referring to more than 100 types of joint diseases that affect 53 million adults in the U.S.

Infectious Arthritis Can Occur Quickly Due to the Nature of the Cause of the Arthritis 

Infectious or Septic Arthritis Typically Only Affects a Single Large Joint Like a Knee or Hip

Septic/infectious arthritis can be confused with an injury or other illness due to it typically affecting a centralized area of the body. While symptoms can seem minor the long-term effect of septic arthritis can be detrimental to a patient’s health. Always seek medical care if you have a persistent or ongoing medical issue.  

Please use this guide as a resource for knowledge and understanding of infectious arthritis causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. 


Infectious arthritis is caused by some type of infection or bacteria that enters the bloodstream and affects the joint. The infection can be onset from bacterial, viral, or even fungal illness. Those who are at higher risk of infectious arthritis are individuals with weakened immune systems, open wounds, and joint complications.  


Symptoms can vary depending on age, medications, overall health, etc. Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • Severe Pain that Worsens with Movement
  • Swelling of the Joint
  • Warmth and Redness Around the Joint
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Irritability


Infections present in the body can have differentiating symptoms but depending on your overall health and lifestyle, it may be easy to identify septic arthritis. An arthrocentesis test is the most common and viable solution to diagnosing septic arthritis. This procedure requires extracting a sample of synovial fluid from the affected joint. The sample is then tested for various factors including infection.  A blood sample may also be required to determine the overall presence of infection in the body. Some other tests that may be conducted to verify infection are:

  • X-ray
  • MRI
  • CT Scan
  • Nuclear Scan


Most septic arthritis is curable once the infection has been cleared from the body. However if the infection was left to invade for an extended period a time, significant damage may occur to the joint. Antibiotics or antifungals kill the bacteria causing the infection and pain medications help alleviate the discomfort. If a virus is responsible for the arthritis no medication is used to kill the bacteria, but rather the body must fight the virus on its own. Draining the joints synovial fluid may be necessary to remove infected fluid, and to lessen pain and swelling.

To learn more about arthritis, please visit: http://www.arthritis.org

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