What You Should Know About Septic Arthritis

Body aches and pain in the joints are common symptoms of numerous health issues and common communicable viral infections like the various strains of influenza and even sometimes the common cold. However, there are some times when joint pain can be a symptom of another health problem entirely. Septic arthritis is a condition that is little known to the general public but can cause serious pain and discomfort in the joints. Get to know more of the facts about septic arthritis so that you can know what to look for and can properly handle the situation if septic arthritis ever directly affects you or a member of your family.

What Are The Signs Of Septic Arthritis?

The most dominant sign of septic arthritis is severe pain in one or more joints in the body. The knee is a common site of septic arthritis, as are the hips. The severe pain of septic arthritis can come on all of a sudden and is usually so intense that it makes it difficult or impossible for the person to use their affected joints because it causes excruciating pain. Swelling and warmth in the joint can also occur and many people also develop a fever when they suffer from septic arthritis.

What Exactly Is Septic Arthritis?

Septic arthritis is a condition that can develop as the result of one of three types of infections in the body. Those types of infections are bacterial, fungal, and viral infections. Most of the time, septic arthritis is the result of a bacterial infection, specifically a type of staph infection. When an infection develops near one of a person's joints (such as after knee or hip surgery) or gets into the bloodstream and is able to travel throughout the body, septic arthritis is possible.

This condition is considered serious because of the level of pain it causes and the risk of permanent damage to a person's joint or joints. There is also the issue of an extensive infection in the bloodstream that adds to the severity of septic arthritis.

How Can You Treat Septic Arthritis?

The treatment for your septic arthritis is going to depend on the type of infection that caused the condition. In most cases of septic arthritis, a round of powerful antibiotics can help to clear up the infection. Usually, these antibiotics are administered through an IV to start treatment as the concern is the widespread nature of a bacterial infection in the bloodstream and getting that infection under control as soon as possible.

If, on the other hand, septic arthritis develops as the result of fungal or viral infections, the treatment protocols will differ. It can take several months on anti-fungal medications, for example, to clear up the underlying cause of septic arthritis related to a fungal infection. Because fungal infections in the blood can be so challenging to treat, removing the affected tissues in the joint through surgery can also sometimes be an option. Viral septic arthritis may clear up on its own or may be aided by antiviral medications depending on the specific virus responsible.

Draining the joint of infected fluid is also common practice when a person has septic arthritis as it can help to more quickly ease the severe pain the condition causes and speed recovery from the infection causing the condition. The surgical method used to perform this procedure will depend on the specific joint involved but is most commonly done through needle aspiration so that large incisions and stitches that could cause more complications are not necessary.

Now that you know more about septic arthritis, you can be sure that you take the appropriate steps to protect your health going forward and get the proper treatment at a health clinic if this condition ever affects you.