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Infectious Arthritis: How Does It Spread and Can You Prevent It?

By    |   Friday, 29 Apr 2016 02:44 PM

Infectious arthritis, also known as septic arthritis, occurs when the fluid and tissues surrounding a joint become infected. It can cause pain, swelling, and fever.

Infectious arthritis can spread through the bloodstream or from an infected joint because of bacteria, viruses, or fungi.

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Acute infectious arthritis is the most common infectious arthritis, according to the Merck Manual. It can damage cartilage in the joint within hours or days, the Merck Manual notes.

Chronic infectious arthritis occurs in the knee, hip, elbow, wrist, shoulder, and fingers from bacterial, fungal and mycobacterial infection. Usually only one joint is usually affected, but it can sometimes be several.

Symptoms of acute infectious arthritis include swelling and stiffening when fluid collects in the infected joint, says Merck Manual. The joint becomes painful, especially when moving or touching something. Reddening and a warm feeling may occur in the joint. Fever and chills are known to occur.

Gradual swelling, mild warmth, and an aching pain may accompany chronic infectious arthritis. Some redness may occur.

In gonococcal arthritis, patients have milder symptoms but may develop skin blisters, rashes or bumps. Sores may occur on the mouth, genitals, trunk, hands, or legs. Symptoms in infants and children become apparent when they don’t move the infected joint or show signs of irritability.

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Infectious arthritis can develop from certain health conditions, explains Everyday Health. Weakened immune systems or engaging in risky behaviors such as intravenous drug use can increase the risk.

People who have diabetes or HIV-related diseases have weakened immune systems. These patients can consult their doctor early on to see if antibiotics are necessary before medical procedures to prevent infectious arthritis. They also are encouraged to examine their joints for signs of infection on a regular basis.

Rheumatoid arthritis increases the risk of developing infectious arthritis because of joint damage and steroid injections sometimes used for treatment, according to Everyday Health. Patients should talk with their doctor about the risk from treatment as a prevention.

People who have undergone joint replacement are advised to tell doctors and dentists about the replacement before medical procedures. Antibiotics may be prescribed before the procedures.

A healthy diet boosts the immune system to lower the risks of infectious arthritis. Sexually transmitted diseases can cause infectious arthritis, so practicing safe sex helps to prevent the disorder, Everyday Health reports.

People who notice the pain or swelling of joints or other arthritic symptoms would benefit from seeking immediate medical attention to avoid the effects of possible infectious arthritis.

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Infectious arthritis, also known as septic arthritis, occurs when the fluid and tissues surrounding a joint become infected. It can cause pain, swelling, and fever.
infectious arthritis, spread, prevention
Friday, 29 Apr 2016 02:44 PM
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