Septic arthritis is an infection of joint space by a wide range of microorganisms. Symptoms of septic arthritis vary from person to person and may differ depending on the affected joint, the age of the child, and the type of organism causing the infection. Imaging studies can be helpful but cannot differentiate septic arthritis from inflammatory arthritis. It is also known as infectious arthritis and is typically caused by a pathogenic infectious agent such as bacteria, viruses, or microorganisms
Causes Of Septic Arthritis
It can affect one or more joints in the body, but the most common sites are the knee and hip joints. The range of bacteria causing septic arthritis varies based on age group and many factors. In adults, it is usually caused by Staphylococcus aureus or group A streptococci; while in children it is usually due to Haemophilus influenzae or Neisseria gonorrhoeae. In some cases, viruses such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) may be responsible for septic arthritis.
Overt septic arthritis is most commonly caused by bacterial infections, with the most common organisms being Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus species. When a person has damaged joints, such as those in cases of rheumatoid arthritis, polyarticular joint pain may be a sign of septic arthritis. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you are having severe joint pain. Treatment of septic arthritis involves treating the infected joint. This can be done by administering antibiotics and other medications to treat pain. Immunosuppressive medications are often used for the treatment of septic arthritis, although additional risk factors exist in certain cases, such as hematogenous spread from bone or adjacent joint infections.
When a patient presents with early acute bacterial arthritis, the synovial effusions obtained from the interphalangeal and metacarpophalangeal joints are analyzed to reveal gram-stain organisms which can help to identify the cause of arthritis. In cases of frequent arthritis, a gram stain may reveal staphylococci or campylobacter triggering a reaction.
Septic arthritis is inflammatory arthritis caused by infections. It requires careful diagnosis to differentiate septic causes from other forms of arthritis, and imaging studies can be used to confirm the diagnosis. A retrospective study, reported in 2019 by Coutlakis et al., surveyed 202 patients with septic arthritis and found that 77% of cases occurred in small joints of the body.