Septic arthritis, also known as infectious arthritis, is a rare type of arthritis that occurs due to an infection in the body. Read on to know more about the treatment methods that are commonly used for treating your septic arthritis.
Also known as infectious arthritis, septic arthritis affects around 20,000 people in the United States every year. Septic arthritis is defined as an inflammation of joint that is caused by an infection in the body. Generally, this form of arthritis only affects one large joint in the body like the hip or the knee. The cases where septic arthritis affects multiple joints are very rare. It occurs either when an injury introduces the bacteria directly into the joint or when the germs travel through the blood from another part of the body.
It is much more common in older adults and children. Common bacterial infections that can cause septic arthritis include staphylococcus, Haemophilus influenza, and streptococcus. Some of the viral and fungal infections can also lead to septic arthritis, but they develop slower than the bacterial infections. These include mumps, Herpes virus, Histoplasma, HIV, hepatitis, blastomyces, and adenovirus. Apart from children and older adults, septic arthritis is more likely to develop in people with open wounds as well as those who suffer from medical conditions like diabetes, immune deficiency disorders, and cancer and even those who abuse drugs intravenously.
When you do experience symptoms of septic arthritis, they tend to come on quite rapidly along with excruciating pain, fever, and joint swelling. The signs and symptoms of septic arthritis include chills, fever, fatigue, swelling, warmth and severe pain in the affected joint, and an inability to move the leg with the infected joint. The doctor can diagnose septic arthritis by conducting tests such as joint fluid analysis, imaging tests, and blood tests. In order to make an accurate diagnosis of this type of arthritis, ‘arthrocentesis’ is most commonly used. In this procedure, a surgical puncture is made in the joint to extract a sample of the synovial fluid or the joint fluid. If this fluid contains extremely high levels of white blood cells, it indicates that you are suffering from septic arthritis. Blood tests can also be used to check the presence of inflammation, while X-rays are used to indicate the joint damage. Sometimes, doctors can even use MRIs to detect joint damage, however, it is only useful during the advanced stage of septic arthritis.
If left untreated, this condition can eventually lead to joint degradation as well as permanent damage. Therefore, it is very important that an accurate and prompt diagnosis is made and the treatment plan is put into action as soon as possible. There are different treatment methods available, so the doctor will choose the method that is ideal for you and suits your requirements. Read on to know about the septic arthritis treatment options in detail.
Your septic arthritis is caused by a microbial infection. Therefore, to find an effective treatment method, it is crucial that the microbe which is causing the infection is identified. Once the microbes are identified, the appropriate antibiotics are injected in your body. These antibiotics fight and successfully destroy the infection causing bacteria, fungi, or virus. The antibiotic therapy usually lasts anywhere between two to six weeks. Most often than not, these antibiotics can cause some side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. You may not know it, but you may also be allergic to certain antibiotics. Consult your doctor to ask about the various side effects that can be expected from the antibiotics that you are currently using.
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