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Anna Maria Smith

What Is Infectious Arthritis?

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Anna Maria Smith -
Anna Maria Smith -

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Some interesting information I read about one of my diseases

Infectious (Septic) ArthritisInfectious arthritis is an infection in a joint. It may also be referred to as septic arthritis. It occurs when an infection caused by a bacteria or virus spreads to a joint or the fluid surrounding the joint. This fluid is called the synovial fluid. This infection usually begins in another area of the body and spreads through the bloodstream to the joint tissue. The infection may also enter the body through surgery, open wounds, or injections.

The symptoms of infectious arthritis can vary depending on your age and the medications you’re taking. The symptoms may include:

severe pain that worsens with movement

swelling of the joint

warmth and redness around the joint

a fever




decreased appetite

a rapid heart rate


An arthrocentesis is a test frequently used to diagnose this condition. It involves inserting a needle into the affected joint to take a sample of synovial fluid. The sample is sent to the lab to be examined for color, consistency, and the presence of white blood cells and bacteria. The information from this test can tell your doctor if you have an infection in the joint and what is causing the infection.

Your doctor may also take a blood sample from you. This is another way to check your white blood cell count and to determine if any bacteria are present in your bloodstream. This information can help your doctor determine the severity of the infection.

How Is Infectious Arthritis Treated?

Prescription Drugs

Treatment for infectious arthritis caused by a bacteria usually begins with antibiotics to kill the bacteria causing the infection. Your doctor will use the information from your tests to choose an antibiotic that’s effective for the type of bacteria present in your joint. The infection needs to be treated promptly and aggressively to prevent osteoarthritis and damage to your joint. As a result, your doctor may order intravenous antibiotics, which are given through your veins. This treats the infection more quickly than oral antibiotics. Most people begin to feel better within 48 hours of their first antibiotic treatment.


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