Septic arthritis

Alternative Names

Bacterial arthritis; Non-gonococcal bacterial arthritis

Definition of Septic arthritis

Septic arthritis is due to a bacterial infection other than gonorrhea (joint infection due to gonorrhea has different symptoms).

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Septic arthritis develops when bacteria spread through the bloodstream to a joint. It may also occur when the joint is directly infected with bacteria by an injury or during surgery. The most common sites for this type of infection are the knee and hip.

Symptoms

Symptoms usually come on quickly, with , intense , and low-grade fever.

Treatment

Antibiotics are used to treat the infection.

Expectations (prognosis)

Recovery is good with prompt antibiotic treatment. If treatment is delayed, permanent joint damage may result.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/30/2009

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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