Septic arthritis is a joint infection caused by fungi, viruses or bacteria. Also known as infectious arthritis, this joint disease is triggered most commonly by a staphylococcus (staph) infection. Infectious arthritis includes several types of arthritis named for the origin of the infection. These include staphylococcal arthritis (septic arthritis), from staph bacteria; tuberculosis-related arthritis from TB, viral arthritis from a virus including HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C and, gonococcal arthritis from sexually transmitted gonorrhea.
This autoimmune disease causes extreme pain and is instigated from an infection elsewhere in the patient’s body that spreads throughout the bloodstream. The lining around joints has minimal capacity to protect themselves from infection. Inflammation sets in, which may decrease circulation in the joint due to the swelling. The most common area of the body to be affected is the knees, but septic arthritis may impact hips, shoulders, fingers, toes and other joints. Septic arthritis occurs mainly in the very young or in older adults. Patients with other chronic diseases such as Lyme disease and HIV compounding the length of illness and its complications.
Common Symptoms of Septic Arthritis:
- Extreme joint pain and discomfort.
- Swollen joint.
- Warm and red colored skin around a joint.
- Fever and chills.
- Patients with other chronic conditions that affect the joints such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions that have open wounds allowing for bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
- Compromised immune system from other disease or medications that suppress the immune system.
- Trauma to the skin around a joint from a cut or a puncture.
- Patients who have more than one of the risk factors have an even great risk of developing septic arthritis.
Immediate treatment for septic arthritis is called for to prevent the joint from incurring permanent damage.
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