Dr. Arva-Lamak

Understanding Infectious Arthritis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Infectious Arthritis 1

Infectious arthritis, also known as septic arthritis, is a serious condition characterized by joint inflammation caused by an infection. The infection can be bacterial, viral, or fungal in nature and affects the synovial fluid and tissues surrounding a joint. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and available treatment options for infectious arthritis is crucial for timely diagnosis and effective management.

Causes: Infectious arthritis occurs when harmful microorganisms enter the bloodstream and settle in a joint. The infection can originate from various sources, including:

  • Bacterial Infections: Bacteria, such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus, are common culprits.
  • Viral Infections: Viruses like hepatitis C, HIV, and parvovirus can lead to infectious arthritis.
  • Fungal Infections: Fungi such as Candida or Aspergillus can cause joint infections, though they are less common.

Symptoms: The symptoms of infectious arthritis can develop rapidly and may include:

  • Severe joint pain
  • Swelling, redness, and warmth around the affected joint
  • Limited range of motion
  • Fever and chills
  • Fatigue and muscle aches
  • Sudden onset of symptoms

Treatment: Prompt treatment is essential to prevent further joint damage and complications. The treatment approach may include:

  • Antibiotics or Antiviral Medications: Depending on the type of infection, a course of antibiotics or antiviral drugs may be prescribed to eliminate the causative microorganism.
  • Joint Aspiration: Draining the infected joint fluid can relieve pain and help diagnose the specific microorganism responsible for the infection.
  • Pain Relief: Over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications can help manage pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Hospitalization: Severe cases may require hospitalization for intravenous antibiotics and close monitoring.

Infectious arthritis is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. If you suspect you have this condition, seek medical care promptly to prevent irreversible joint damage.