Infectious arthritis (septic arthritis) is caused by a bacterial,
viral, or fungal infection inside a joint. The infection may be caused by an
illness or may spread from an infection in a wound near a joint.
The large joints, such as the hips, knees, shoulders, and elbows,
are most often affected. Infectious arthritis usually affects one joint, but it
can affect many joints. Symptoms may include:
Severe pain with the slightest joint motion or
pressure on the joint.
Fever and chills.
weakness and headache.
Painful, red, swollen, and stiff
Red streaks near the joint.
Immediate treatment with antibiotics and, possibly, surgical
drainage of the affected joint can prevent the spread of the infection, the
destruction of the joint, and even death.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD