Symptoms of septic arthritis
The symptoms of septic arthritis include:
- severe pain, swelling, redness and heat in affected joints - these symptoms tend to develop quickly over a few hours or days
- may also have difficulty moving the affected joint - some people have a high temperature (fever)
- young children with septic arthritis will generally be irritable and may cry whenever the infected joint is moved, for example, during nappy changing - they may also try to avoid using or putting any weight on affected joints
Treating septic arthritis
If you are diagnosed with septic arthritis, it is usually treated with antibiotics. You'll normally need to stay in hospital for at least two weeks to have antibiotics given to you directly into a vein (intravenously).
After you finish the course of intravenous antibiotics, you'll probably need to take antibiotic tablets at home. Your health professional will discuss your treatment with you before you leave hospital.
You should completely recover after antibiotic treatment. Some people still experience persistent limited movement in the affected joint.
Causes of septic arthritis
The condition is most commonly caused by either:
These bacteria may enter a wound and travel through your bloodstream to the affected joint, or may infect your joint directly after an injury or during surgery.
The following things can increase your risk of septic arthritis: