Septic Arthritis

Also known as: infectious arthritis.

What is septic arthritis?

When an infection of a joint in the body causes arthritis-like symptoms, this is known as septic arthritis. It can occur for several reasons and can often be treated successfully.
 

What causes septic arthritis? 

An infection of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria is the most common cause, but septic arthritis can also occur due to other bacteria. Viral infections or rheumatoid arthritis can cause similar symptoms.
The infection can start elsewhere in the body and travel to a joint through the bloodstream or affect the joint from a skin or wound infection.
 

What are the symptoms of septic arthritis? 

Symptoms of septic arthritis include joint pain, swelling, tenderness, limping, difficulty using the joint and fever.
 

What are septic arthritis care options? 

Typically intravenous antibiotics will be given. Fluid will need to be drained from the joint to start the treatment of the infection in certain cases. Patients are given antibiotics for several weeks, sometimes followed by oral antibiotics. 

Reviewed by: Otto M Ramos, MD

This page was last updated on: 3/23/2018 2:13:58 PM

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Visit our flu page for helpful tips on preventing the spread of the flu virus and view our symptoms checker. Remember, antivirals are more effective if started within the first 48 hours- seek medical care at the sign of symptoms. For your convenience, our pediatric urgent care centers are available in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach county. 

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Dr. Otto Ramos, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Nicklaus Children's Hospital, discusses topics regarding how the Zika virus is trasmitted, diagnosed, what the symptoms are, and how to prevent infection.