Septic arthritis is a bacterial infection in a joint. This occurs when an infection from another part of the body, such as pneumonia or a skin or kidney infection, travels through the bloodstream to the joint. It may also spread to the joint from an infection in nearby soft tissue, or it can follow a surgery or injury. The joint is often warm, swollen, and tender.
Early treatment can prevent permanent damage to the joint. Treatment includes antibiotics and draining the joint to remove the infection. Depending on which part of your body is infected, your doctor may drain the joint with a needle or you may need surgery to drain the joint.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: March 3, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine
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