Infectious arthritis or septic arthritis as it also known is a form of arthritis where one or more joints of the body are infected by microorganisms. Naturally the synovial fluid that is found between the joint is sterile and if extracted and cultured in a laboratory, no microorganisms can be found. However, with a patient that suffers from infectious arthritis, microorganisms can be detected in the fluid. Depending on the microbe causing the problem or what the patient was predisposed to the condition can affect one or more joints and also the joint affected can vary due to the same reasons. The condition can be caused by a variety of factors some that are habitual and others that are totally unexpected or anticipated.
• Bacteria are largely to blame for infectious arthritis and can come into the body using a variety of means.
• Some of the bacteria that have been found to be the largest culprit when it comes to this condition include streptococci, haemophilus influenza among others that are found in the synovial fluid from time to time.
• Some types of medications have also been found to increase the chances of an individual contracting the disease.
• For people that are taking any immune suppressant drugs, there is a probability that they have higher chances of contracting infectious arthritis.
• This is majorly because of the fact that the body is not able to detect the bacteria as they come into the body and also not having the ability to fight them off.
• This is among the most common causes for the spread of the disease. This is majorly because the bacteria could use this media to hop from one patient to the other.
• For drug users that use the intravenous methods, they have a higher probability of contracting the disease especially if the needles are shared.
• Other conditions that could enhance the chances of infection include diseases like diabetes.
• Depending on the joint infected and also the extent of infection, there are a variety of treatment options that the patient could explore.
• The most common is the use of intravenous antibiotics that will help to kill the bacteria and reduce chances of recurrent infection.
• Among the more effective and more preferred methods of treatment for this condition is analgesia and washout of the infected joint. This means that the synovial fluid that is contained in the infected joint is extracted thus the bacteria that inhabits it comes out as well.
• For patients that have acute but uncomplicated infections, a short 10 day antimicrobial course is enough to eliminate the situation.
• Patients who have contraindicated surgery, they can try long term antibiotic therapy which in the long run works just as well.
It is advisable that when a patient experiences some of the symptoms that are associated with this complication some of which include joint stiffness especially in the knees, shoulders, ankles and other jointed parts or warmth and redness around the joint they visit a physician urgently. If the condition is diagnosed early then it is easier to treat and less expensive as well. In the event that it has advanced, then that is where your EHIC renewal would come in handy as it would help cover the treatment and help you get back to your normal lifestyle in no time.