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Infectious arthritis

Infectious arthritis Causes

In general, infectious arthritis is the result of the spread of a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection through the bloodstream to the joint. The disease agents may enter the joint directly from the outside as a consequence of an injury or a surgical procedure, or they may be carried to the joint by the blood from infections elsewhere in the body. The specific organisms differ somewhat according to age group. Newborns are most likely to acquire gonococcal infections of the joints from a mother infected with gonorrhea. Children may also acquire infectious arthritis from a hospital environment, usually as a result of catheter placement.

Infectious arthritis Definition

Infectious arthritis is a form of joint inflammation that is caused by a germ. The germ can be a virus, bacterium, or a fungus. Infection of the joints typically occurs after a previous infection elsewhere in the body.

Infectious arthritis Diagnosis

The diagnosis depends on a combination of laboratory testing with careful history-taking and physical examination of the affected joint.

Infectious arthritis Symptoms and Signs

The symptoms include swelling in the infected joint and pain and discomfort when the joint is moved. Infectious arthritis in the hip may be experienced as pain in the groin area that worsens if the patient tries to walk. In 90% of cases, there is some tissue fluid leaking into the affected joint. The joint is sore when touched; it may or may not be warm to the touch, depending on how deep the infection lies within the joint. In majority of the cases the patient will have fever and chills, although the fever may be only low-grade. Children sometimes suffer from nausea and vomiting.

Infectious arthritis Treatment

Infectious arthritis usually needs several days of treatment in a hospital, with follow-up medication and physical therapy lasting several weeks or months.

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