Septic Arthritis Treatment

What is Septic Arthritis?

Infection of joint is known as septic arthritis, it can affect any joint in body, mostly large joint like hip, knee, shoulder & elbow in descending order.

Causes of Septic Arthritis?

Septic arthritis occurs because of infection of the joint. This infection can come to the joint via blood circulation, trauma, infection of near bone etc. In neonates, it is taken as septicemia because in neonates septic arthritis occurs because of the hematogenous spread of bacteria.  Septic arthritis occurs because of a decrease in the immunity of the patient.

Signs and Symptoms of Septic Arthritis?

In septic arthritis, the child can have fever, swelling, pain, redness, decrease in movement of the affected joint. Inability to bear weight during walking.  If it persists for a long duration then joint deformity & stiffness of the joint will be a presentation from the patient.

Who’s at higher risk for Septic Arthritis?

Infants & newborns, children with lower immunity, previous unhealed bony sinus near a joint are at higher risk for getting septic arthritis.

Diagnosis of Septic Arthritis?

Diagnosis of septic arthritis is being made on the basis of the history of pain, swelling, fever, inability to bear weight, decrease in joint movement, and examination finding of fluid in joint, tenderness, redness, swelling. Finally, we need x-ray to see an increase in joint space, bone involvement. Ultrasound is needed to see the collection in joint. Final confirmation is being made by needle aspiration, gram stain and culture sensitivity etc.

Septic Arthritis Treatment?

It is the dictum that pus anywhere in the body need drainage so it became imperative mostly in infants & small children to drain pus from joint. In superficial joints like the knee, elbow it can be drained by needle aspiration and lavage but in a deeper joint like the hip & shoulder, we need surgery to drain that pus. Along with surgery, the child also needs rest to the joint by plaster, traction, not putting weight on limb along with IV Antibiotic. Intravenous antibiotic needed from 1-2 weeks depends upon condition then oral antibiotic for 4-6 weeks.

Septic Arthritis Complications?

Septic arthritis should be taken as an emergency. It should be managed on an urgent basis. In long term, if not managed or delayed then they cause damage to the joint. The child will have stiff joints and even in some cases, joints will not have any movement. In infants, septic arthritis causes early damage to the joint mostly in the intra-articular bone like in the hip joint.

Septic Arthritis Prognosis?

If it is taken as an emergency and managed with drainage and Iv antibiotic then most of the time good outcome in long term. But in-spite of early drainage and IV antibiotic, damage proceeds at a very fast rate due to lack of immunity and resistant infection (nonresponding antibiotics). if it is not managed or some problem arises, then in long term it can cause stiffness and joint damage. The child will not be able to use the joint.


Frequently Asked Questions

what can be way to give antibiotic in treatment of Septic Arthritis?

In very early phase Intravenous antibiotic for 1 week or till symptom subside then continued on oral drugs for 3-6 week dependent upon clinical response.

What is the common cause of Septic Arthritis?

Staphylococcus aureus is the most common type of bacteria that causes septic arthritis. This bacteria is also known as S. aureus.

How much time does it take to get recover from Septic Arthritis?

1 to 2 days after treatment, symptoms will start to improve. But it takes few weeks for the complete recovery.

Last Updated Recently

Dr. Jitendra Kumar Jain is a famous name in the field of childhood physical disability pediatric orthopedic problems in North India. He has been an MS Orthopedics, DNB Orthopedics, Pediatric orthopedic surgeon & also a cerebral palsy specialist for over 21 years.

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