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Septic Arthritis. Now That Sounds Nasty

Posted Oct 03 2008 11:31am

I came across the term septic arthritis when I was doing some research and it sparked my interest. A few years I had strep throat go septic, and boy, was I sick! I was fortunate to have it caught just in time before my kidneys were about to shut down . Since I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, I thought this would be something worth looking into.

Septic arthritis which can also be called infectious arthritis, is the invasion of the joint with bacterial infection; in rare cases fungal or viral infection is the cause. The source of the bacteria is usually carried to the joint by the bloodstream from an infectious source elsewhere in the body. It may also be caused by a lesion or skin ulcer that penetrates the joint, bone or connective tissue.

People who have had joint replacement or joint surgery, have had recent trauma or injury to a joint or those who have a blood infection are most likely to develop septic arthritis. Additional risks are people over 80, diabetics, those with a weakened immune system, gout, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Septic arthritis typically causes severe joint pain in one particular area, but some cases have reported more than one affected joint. This condition can destroy joints quickly in just a short period of time, so quick diagnosis and treatment is extremely important.

Diagnosis can be done by x ray, but may show specific range of infection; it is more commonly done through laboratory testing. Blood cultures are taken to evaluate white and red blood cell count, and to determine the microorganism causing the infection. Aspiration of the joint may also be done to acquire a synovial fluid analysis to not only identify microorganisms, but also to check for crystals in the joint fluid, that may indicate a different or co-existing cause for joint pain.

Treatment is usually done through intravenous antibiotics also fluid is usually aspired from the joint to relieve the pressure and in some cases surgery is needed to drain fluid and repair joint. Sometimes multiple drugs need to be taken over an extended period of time when dealing with stubborn bacteria called mycobacterium.

Downloaded September 11-08 094 I’m glad I’ve done my research and have become more familiarized with this condition. It certainly sounds nasty, and it’s something I want to keep my eyes peeled for. Staying informed and aware is a great way to keep up a happy, healthy, long life.

Have a great weekend everyone and stay out of trouble! 

Follow along my Aud Life of Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis (C)Copyright All Rights Reserved

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