ARTHRITIS, INFECTIOUS(Septic Arthritis)
ARTHRITIS, INFECTIOUS (Septic Arthritis)
DESCRIPTIONInfectious arthritis is an inflammation in a joint resulting from infection. Any joint may be involved, but it is most common in larger ones, such as the hip, or those subject to trauma, such as the knee or joints in the hands.
Appropriate health care includes:
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
Hospitalization (frequently) for complete rest and intravenous antibiotics.
Surgery to drain fluid or remove foreign material introduced by an injury.
Physical therapy after recovery to regain full use of the joint.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSChills and fever (sometimes high).
Redness, swelling, tenderness, and pain (often throbbing) in the affected joint. Pain sometimes spreads to other joints. It worsens with movement.
Pain in the buttocks, thighs, or groin (sometimes).
CAUSESInfection elsewhere in the body, as with gonorrhea or tuberculosis.
Infection next to the joint, as with skin boils, cellulitis, or bone infection.
Injury to the joint, including puncture wounds and skin abrasions.
Entry into a joint by germs, usually bacteria (streptococci, staphylococci, gonococci, hemophilus, or tubercle bacillus) or fungi. Germs gain entry from:
RISK FACTORSIllness that has lowered resistance.
Sexually transmitted infections.
Use of immunosuppressive drugs.
Injections into joints.
Excess alcohol consumption.
Use of mind-altering drugs, especially those that are injected.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCE
Protect your child's exposed joints, such as the knee, during activities involving injury risks.
Obtain prompt medical treatment for your child's infections elsewhere in the body.
The use of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for other disorders may suppress signs of joint inflammation, delaying diagnosis.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory studies, such as blood counts, blood culture, and culture of fluid from the infected joint.
X-rays of affected joints.
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONSMisdiagnosis as gout or another non-infectious condition, delaying antibiotic treatment; blood poisoning; permanent joint damage.
Usually curable with early diagnosis and treatment. Recovery takes weeks or months. Treatment delay may result in a badly damaged joint and loss of movement, requiring joint replacement.
HOME CARENo specific instructions except those listed under other headings.
MEDICATIONAntibiotics (often intravenous). Don't discontinue giving your child antibiotics until your doctor recommends it. Infection may return after symptoms disappear.
Codeine or narcotics for a short time to relieve pain.
Your doctor may prescribe:
Splints or casts may be necessary to rest the affected joint completely. Movement delays healing. After cure, physical therapy is often necessary to restore joint function. The child can resume normal activities gradually.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When signs of infection have decreased, appetite returns, and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of joint infection. Call immediately.
The following occurs during the illness: temperature spikes to 103F (39.4C); fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and sweating.
New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.