What Is Septic Arthritis?

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Septic Arthritis

Septic Arthritis is a condition that primarily affects the joints of the human body. It is an inflammation that results due to some specific types of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. It can be a result of blunt trauma to the joint as well. It is also called a joint infection. The most noticeable symptoms include pain, fever, headache, and redness. The infected joint shows decreased movement. At times more than one joint may get affected as well. Usually affecting older people, septic arthritis can affect young people as well. 

Sepsis is a condition in which a human body fights an infectious foreign agent that enters the body and spreads through the blood flow. It is fatal if not treated in time. Arthritis is joint inflammation, which can be a result of an infection, or it could also be due to some injury. Septic arthritis is hence the inflammation of the joints occurring due to an injury or infection. It spreads via the blood flow. 

Consider Watching these Videos to know more about Arthritis and it’s types.

The leading cause of septic arthritis is a bacterial infection. Septic arthritis may result from a wound or even a cut. The infection may also spread from other infected sites of the body to the joint. Since the blood flows to every part of the body, it is relatively easy for bacteria to infiltrate the bloodstream and reach the joints. The bacteria usually involved are Staphylococcus Aureus and gram-negative bacilli. In sexually active young adults, the bacteria, Neisseria Gonorrhea, is responsible for septic arthritis.  

If s person has UTI or other skin infection, even then, the infection can spread to the joint.  

The knee joint is the most likely to be affected. Other joints that may get affected less commonly are the hip joint and the shoulder joint. The infection can infiltrate the synovial fluid, which is responsible for reducing pressure and friction between the two bones of a joint. It also has very little ability to protect itself from the infection. The infection can also damage the cartilage surrounding the bones of the joint and, ultimately, the bone itself. With the invasion of the infection, inflammation can increase pressure and reduce the blood flow to the joint, which can result in graver damage to the bones of the joint. The person’s inability to use these joints increases more and more due to this.  

The risk factor increases for people who have existing joint problems, especially those that have rheumatoid arthritis. It not only increases the risk of contracting the infection but also increases the extent of damage it may cause. Sometimes, people already taking medication for rheumatoid arthritis are even more prone to get infected. These medications suppress the immune system. Hence, the inflammation from the infection increases and gets aggravated even more. It is hard to detect septic arthritis in people that already have rheumatoid arthritis because of the similarity of symptoms. Skin fragility, due to open wounds or cuts, increases the risk significantly as skin is the first line of defense of the human body. Joint trauma can also increase the risk of getting infected.  

Treatment of septic arthritis done quickly delays complications that can result in complications that include permanent damage to the joints and even its degeneration. Effective treatment includes antibiotic therapy. As the synovial fluid is also infected easily, its drainage prevents further spreading of the infection.  

Tests for septic arthritis include blood culture tests. Another way is through drainage of the synovial fluid, which tests for the presence of infection. 

Until Next Time, 

Team Doctor ASKY! 

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