Infectious Arthritis

Also called: Septic arthritis

Most kinds of arthritis cause pain and swelling in your joints. Joints are places where two bones meet, such as your elbow or knee. Infectious arthritis is an infection in the joint. The infection comes from a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection that spreads from another part of the body. Symptoms of infectious arthritis include

  • Intense pain in the joint
  • Joint redness and swelling
  • Chills and fever
  • Inability to move the area with the infected joint

One type of infectious arthritis is reactive arthritis. The reaction is to an infection somewhere else in your body. The joint is usually the knee, ankle, or toe. Sometimes, reactive arthritis is set off by an infection in the bladder, or in the urethra, which carries urine out of the body. In women, an infection in the vagina can cause the reaction. For both men and women, it can start with bacteria passed on during sex. Another form of reactive arthritis starts with eating food or handling something that has bacteria on it.

To diagnose infectious arthritis, your health care provider may do tests of your blood, urine, and joint fluid. Treatment includes medicines and sometimes surgery.

Symptoms of Infectious Arthritis

The following features are indicative of Infectious Arthritis:
  • intense joint pain
  • joint redness and swelling
  • chills
  • fever
  • inability to move the area with the infected joint

Get TabletWise Pro

Thousands of Classes to Help You Become a Better You.

Common Causes of Infectious Arthritis

The following are the most common causes of Infectious Arthritis:
  • staphylococcus aureus bacterial infections
  • viral infections
  • fungal infections

Risk Factors for Infectious Arthritis

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Infectious Arthritis:
  • existing joint problems
  • taking medications for rheumatoid arthritis
  • skin fragility
  • weak immune system
  • joint trauma

Prevention of Infectious Arthritis

No, it is not possible to prevent Infectious Arthritis.
  • local infections
  • pathogens may enter via direct inoculation

Occurrence of Infectious Arthritis

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Infectious Arthritis cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Not common between 50K - 500K cases

Common Age Group

Infectious Arthritis can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Infectious Arthritis can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Infectious Arthritis

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Infectious Arthritis:
  • Joint fluid analysis: To find out what organism is causing the infection
  • Blood test: To diagnose signs of blood infection
  • Imaging tests: To check damage to the joint through X-ray and other imaging methods

Doctor for Diagnosis of Infectious Arthritis

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Infectious Arthritis:
  • Orthopedic surgeon
  • Infectious disease specialist
  • Rheumatologist

Complications of Infectious Arthritis if untreated

Yes, Infectious Arthritis causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Infectious Arthritis is left untreated:
  • joint degeneration or permanent damage

Procedures for Treatment of Infectious Arthritis

The following procedures are used to treat Infectious Arthritis:
  • Scope procedure: To remove the infected joint fluid through arthroscopy
  • Open surgery: To drain the infected joint fluid

Self-care for Infectious Arthritis

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Infectious Arthritis:
  • Manage weight: Weight loss is an effective method to decrease complications
  • Quit smoking: Avoid smoking too much to reduce the chances of getting the disease
  • Stand and walk around every half-hour

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Infectious Arthritis

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Infectious Arthritis:
  • Do cool compress therapy: To relieve pain

Time for Treatment of Infectious Arthritis

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Infectious Arthritis to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Infectious Arthritis.

Related Topics


Sign Up


Share with friends, get 20% off
Invite your friends to TabletWise learning marketplace. For each purchase they make, you get 20% off (upto $10) on your next purchase.