Infectious arthritis, also known as septic arthritis or pyogenicarthritis, is a joint inflammation caused by infection by one of a number of microorganisms. Causes, symptoms, prevention and treatment are also what is infectious arthritis and found in this page. The knee and other weight-bearing joints are the ones most commonly affected. Infectious arthritis is not a permanent condition and does not lead to other forms of joint inflammation, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
However, if left untreated, it may cause lasting stiffness and limitation of movement in the affected joint or joints. Most cases of bacterial arthritis tend to be acute but relatively short-lived, except for those associated with tuberculosis, which tend to be milder and progress gradually over a period of months. The gonococcal organism is the most common cause of infectious arthritis among sexually active young women and men. Newborns are most likely to acquire gonococcal infections from a mother with gonorrhea. It is rare after age 45. Unlike the other types of bacterial arthritis, it may affect several joints at once, especially those in the hands and wrists. Often preceding Lyme arthritis is a very red, circular rash.
Antibiotics are necessary for the resolution of the arthritis. The most common of these is due to parvovirus. Parvovirus arthritis occurs most often in younger women who contract the infection from their children. Other viral infections that can cause arthritis are hepatitis B, rubella, mumps, infectious mononucleosis, and herpes. Viral arthritis often affects multiple joints but generally leaves no permanent damage. Obtain prompt treatment for infections elsewhere in the body. Fluid culture from the swollen joint.
Phlegm, spinal fluid, and urine tests are performed to find the source of infection. Antibiotics are prescribed to treat bacterial infections and Lyme arthritis. These drugs should be taken for the full term prescribed—which may be as long as six weeks or more in severe cases—even if symptoms subside before that time. Failure to do so can permit the strongest, most virulent strains of the underlying organism to survive and multiply, which may result in an even more severe rebound infection that is harder to treat. For acute bacterial infections, antibiotics are often initially delivered in very high doses by intravenous injection. More potent painkillers, such as narcotics, may be prescribed in severe cases.
Amphotericin B, an antifungal drug, may be used for fungal infections. Repeat needle aspirations may also be performed at the bedside. Infection in a prosthetic joint usually requires removal of the prosthesis. A new joint can be implanted after intensive treatment cures the infection. Physical therapy is usually needed after the infection has subsided to regain mobility and strength in the affected joint.
Call a doctor immediately if you develop symptoms of infectious arthritis. Prompt treatment may help prevent permanent damage to the joint. Consult your doctor immediately if you have rheumatoid arthritis or gout and you develop arthritic symptoms that do not respond to the medication prescribed for flare-ups. Copyright 2017 Remedy Health Media, LLC.