Most people have heard of arthritis, although unless they have suffered from it, or know someone who has suffered or is suffering with it, the chances are they have assumed that all arthritis is the same.
This is not the case – there are in excess of 150 types of rheumatic disease that could be described as arthritis, and one of the lesser known types of arthritis is that which is borne through infections.
About infectious arthritis
Infectious arthritis is known by a variety of names, including ‘bacterial arthritis’ or ‘septic arthritis’, and it is caused when staphylococcal or streptococcal bacteria enter the body. There are two ways that a person can contract infectious arthritis, and that’s by the infection entering their bloodstream through an infected wound, or sometimes even directly, when particular joints are directly exposed to trauma – for example a bad break or fracture.
This type of arthritis can target any number of joints in the body, although most commonly it is found to affect either the knees or hips.
How do I know if I have got infectious arthritis?
This condition causes a lot of pain around the joint area; it will also look swollen, redder than the skin around it and feel warm to the touch. Those who are suffering from this type of infection will also usually be running a fever. In addition, it is likely that you will be suffering from reduced mobility in the affected joint(s).
If you suspect that you may be suffering from this type of arthritis, arrange to see a doctor quickly. This will probably involve a blood test, and also extraction of some of the fluid that exists within the affected joint – this is to help doctors identify the type of bacteria that is causing the problem.
Unlike many forms of arthritis, this can be treated with relative ease, and the sooner you are correctly diagnosed, the sooner you will be prescribed medicine that will work to combat the infection. Antibiotics will be used to target the infection, although you should expect a short stay in hospital so that these can be administered intravenously and that your progress can be monitored closely throughout treatment.